Solicitor Michael O'Donnell said his client has not been in trouble recently
A CHRONIC drug addict who stole hundreds of euro worth of groceries and clothing from a number of different stores will avoid a prison sentence if she completes 180 hours of community service.
Mary Ryan, 37, who has an address at St Anne Terrace, Waterford pleaded guilty, at Newcastle West Court, to multiple offences which occurred at premises in the town and in Limerick city on dates between December 6, 2018 and June 3, 2019.
Inspector Andrew Lacey said the offences were all of a shoplifting nature and that most of the goods were not recovered.
The defendant, who previously lived at Sharwood Estate, Newcastle West has more than 220 previous convictions including 121 for theft.
“She has a disaster of a record,” said solicitor Michael O’Donnell who asked the court to note his client has not come to the attention of gardai in Limerick for nearly 12 months.
He said Ms Ryan, who has a number of children, has a “very bad addiction” to heroin but that she is currently on a methadone programme.
“She is trying to do her best. She has copped on and is getting a grip on herself,” he told Judge Mary Larkin.
The judge noted Ms Ryan has been clean “for periods before” but that she has always relapsed and has reoffended. Having heard details of each of the offences and given her background, Judge Larkin commented: “Either she goes to jail or she does community service”.
After being informed she had been deemed suitable, she told Ms Ryan that she hopes she is “on the straight and narrow”. She directed that Ms Ryan carry out 80 hours of community service in lieu of five months’ imprisonment.
A number of suspended sentences were also imposed.