A DRUG addict has admitted using a counterfeit €50 note to buy a DVD worth €1 from a charity shop in Limerick.
Limerick District Court was told Louise Mason, aged 30, who has an address at Larch Court, Kennedy Park tendered the note in an effort to get money to buy heroin after she relapsed and went back on drugs.
Sergeant Donal Cronin, prosecuting, said Ms Mason, who was identified as a suspect from CCTV, entered the store on September 29 last and left with the change having tendered the fake note to a worker.
Judge Marian O’Leary heard the money has not been repaid and that the charity remains at a loss.
The defendant made admissions when subsequently questioned about the matter by gardai.
Solicitor Sarah Ryan said her client, who has a number of previous convictions, was accompanied by another person on the day who had asked her to offer the counterfeit note as payment as he believed he would have been apprehended.
“She accepts she took part in the enterprise to get heroin. It was due to drug addiction,” she said, adding that the 30-year-old accepts the charity shop was a “vulnerable target” and that her actions were mean.
She said Ms Mason had been off drugs for a “considerable period of time” but had started taking them again a number of months before the offence.
“She has an addiction, she puts up with it,” said Ms Ryan, who described her client as a “private and quiet” individual who says very little to anybody.
Judge O’Leary was told the defendant, who has a number of convictions for begging in the city centre, is currently on a methadone programme but is attempting to deal with her addictions on her own without the assistance of any agency.
The judge commented it is “obvious” that Ms Mason needs some help and she will not be able to “do it on her own”.
In the circumstances, she adjourned the matter to later this month to facilitate the preparation of a pre-sanctioned probation report.
This, she said, would determine what penalty she will impose.