A FORMER off-licence manager, who stole a nightclub reveller’s handbag while she danced, told a court last Thursday his stupidity had followed an attack on him by a customer which had led to his resignation.
Joseph John Kavanaugh, 19, said he had been proud of the management position he had achieved and wanted to apologise to Harrogate magistrates – ‘‘I am sure you have better things to do’’ – for behaviour which brought him before them.
Kavanaugh, of Westcliffe Grove, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft said by prosecutor Sandra White to have occurred in the Rehab Bar in Parliament Street around 4am on February 12.
Police had been called to the venue after Kavanaugh had been detained by door staff as he left carrying a handbag, with £15 cash and an iPhone belonging to Sophie Elliot. And a later search had revealed he also had a mobile phone belonging to another reveller, Hayley Dunbar, in his pocket.
Mrs White said Kavanaugh had dropped the bag when bouncers tackled him about it and had run off. But staff had managed to detain him until police arrived.
While bouncers were holding Kavanaugh the two victims of his actions arrived on the scene to report their losses with Kavanaugh saying: ‘‘I’ll tell you the truth.’’
He said he had picked up the bag as its owner danced around it and put it under his coat before walking out.
But outside he had thought: ‘‘What the hell am I doing?’’ and had dropped the bag on the floor.
Kavanaugh, who was not legally represented, told court chairman Lindsay Addyman he wanted to first and foremost apologise for his actions which had been stupid.
They had come after he had been going through a rough time. Two months earlier he had been forced to quit his job as deputy manager of an off-licence after reporting someone for theft. That person had then begun to shout abuse at him while he was working and because he did not want to have a detrimental effect on the shop, he left.
But the matter had not ended there. The thief had later spat in his face and had then given him ‘‘a good beating.’’
Kavanaugh said he felt what had gone before his thefts had clouded his judgment and he was ‘‘incredibly sorry.’’
Mrs Addyman told him the court gave him credit for the insight he had shown into the stupidity of what he had done and ordered a fine of £65, costs of £85 and a £15 victim surcharge adding: ‘‘We hope we don’t see you here again.’’