A LIMERICK city woman pleaded guilty to possession of a knife inside a Limerick Court.
The solicitor for Sarah O’Donnell, aged 23, of Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston said her client had the knife “for her protection”.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly asked if it was in the precincts, to be told it was in the body of the court.
The judge said she was in the best possible place as she would have been surrounded by gardai.
“To have a knife in a court room is entirely unacceptable,” said Judge O’Kelly.
Solicitor, Sarah Ryan said the knife wasn’t produced on April 3 last.
Sergeant Donal Cronin said the knife was brought to the attention of gardai by a member of the public. O’Donnell was searched by gardai and Sgt Cronin said she was “very candid”.
Judge O’Kelly imposed a four month suspended sentence. He also activated two prison terms that had previously attracted community service orders.
Ms Ryan accepted her client did not attend all appointments with the probation and welfare services.
“She did attend two weeks ago.
“Her boyfriend was seriously injured in an incident six weeks ago. Ms O’Donnell has a long history of abuse of substances - mostly alcohol. For the last six weeks she has been attending the Regional to take care of him. She has not been socialising, not drinking and is certainly looking better,” said Ms Ryan.
O’Donnell was sentenced to four months in prison for the theft of €300 from Spar, Greenpark and two months for possession of a knife in Aldi - to be served consecutively.
A possession of drugs charge, and two theft of groceries on separate dates were taken into account.
The court heard that when gardai attended a fight between men in Clarina Avenue, O’Donnell became abusive to gardai. The incident happened at 11.50pm. Sgt Cronin said Ms O’Donnell was on curfew at the time.
The judge imposed a two month suspended sentence.