A NEWCASTLE West woman with 225 previous convictions came before the local court last week to face three charges of shoplifting from local shops.
Before the court was Mary Ryan, 17 Sharwood Estate, Newcastle West who pleaded to the offences of taking goods without payment from Dooleys Pharmacy valued at €75 last May 12, of taking goods valued at €58.47 from SuperValu last May 22 and taking goods without payment from the same supermarket valued at €264.34 last May 19. None of the goods were recovered, the court was told.
Pleading for his client, solicitor Michael O’Donnell said she was dealing with these matters “upfront”. He accepted she had a “diabolical” record but said she had seen the light.
Judge Mary Larkin said the problem was the accused’s addiction. “She knows it. I know it,” she said.
Ms Ryan pleaded with the judge, saying: “I was doing good. I had a relapse.”
“I know exactly what your difficulty is,” the judge said pointing out that there had been a number of attempts by Ms Ryan to stop but “to absolutely no avail”.
She told Ms Ryan when she had appeared before her with 150 convictions, “you giggled”. Then it was 180 convictions and now it was 225 plus the current ones, the judge pointed out.
Ms Ryan said she hadn’t touched anything since the previous Friday and had been signing on every day.
“Will you give me one last chance?” she asked.
“Nothing is going to prevent you from committing theft to subsidise your habit except going to jail,” Judge Larkin said. “I am not giving you another chance. I feel very harsh doing that but there is continued criminality here.”
She sentenced Ms Ryan to three months imprisonment on the May 19 charge of taking €264.34 worth of goods without payment.
Recognisance with leave to appeal was set at her own bond of €250 and an independent surety of €1000 with €500 to be lodged.