Limerick woman was stealing to fund husband’s drug habit

David Hurley


David Hurley


Limerick woman was stealing to fund husband’s drug habit

A WOMAN who committed multiple theft and begging offences to “feed” her husband’s addictions has been sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.

Laura Brennan, aged 41, of no fixed abode, has admitted several charges relating to the offences which occurred on various dates over the past three years.

In addition to shoplifting, a number of the offences related to the theft of wallets and purses from bags which had been left unattended.

In one case, €200 was stolen from a backpack which was left on the floor at Centra on O’Connell Street.

Inspector Dermot O’Connor said Ms Brennan, who has 17 previous convictions, was observed on CCTV discarding the stolen wallet in a bin a short time later.

On another date, she stole a wallet containing €150 from a customer who was in the queue at the checkout at the Roxboro branch of Tesco.

Another purse containing several hundred euro, was stolen from a member of staff at the Pery Hotel in the city centre.

Solicitor Tom Kiely said his client is the “black sheep of her family” and that her former marriage had caused her “a lot of difficulty” as she was sent out to get money to feed her husband’s addiction.

He said Ms Brennan was a drug user in the past but detoxed in hospital after she was seriously injured in a road crash.

Imposing sentence, Judge Brian O’Shea said most of the offences before the court were at the lower end of the scale.

He said the “relentless nature of her offending” was an aggravating factor but that there were a number of factors he had to consider as mitigation.

He accepted there was a “degree of success” but noted she had failed to appear in court on several occasions previously.

Judge O’Shea imposed a number of consecutive prison sentences totalling six months.

The last two months were suspended for six months.

The severity of the sentence has been appealed.