A JUDGE has sought a probation report ahead of sentencing a 24-year-old woman who admitted a string of thefts from Limerick shops.
The value of the goods taken by Jennifer Fitzgerald from various businesses between May 2011 and October 2012 exceeded €1,000 but her solicitor Ted McCarthy told Limerick District Court that all of the property had been recovered.
Fitzgerald of South Claughaun Road, Garryowen, pleaded guilty to stealing over €400 of groceries from SuperValu, Grove Island, on two dates in May and July of last year.
She admitted the theft of over €110 worth of sports gear from JJB Sports, Childers Road, on May 27, 2011; theft of a hairdryer and toys from Argos, Cruise’s Street on November 12, 2011; theft of a PS3 remote control from GameStop, William Street and a hair straightener worth €110 from Sally’s Hair and Beauty, William Street, on the same date. She also entered a guilty plea in respect of the theft of over €270 worth of clothing from Dunnes Stores, Childers Road, on October 19, 2012.
Mr McCarthy said his client was a mother of two children, aged 8 and 17 months, the younger of whom she was hoping to baptise next month. For the past 18 months, Fitzgerald had not had the support of her family. Her younger son had contracted meningitis during that period which led to a lengthy stay in the Children’s Ark at the Regional Hospital. She had had her own health problems, having undergone abdominal surgery in Poland “because it was cheap”, Mr McCarthy said.
“She had to undergo further surgery here because of the damage that was done and spent most of July in hospital”, the solicitor said.
Giving Fitzgerald the opportunity to work with the Probation Services was “a two-edged sword”, Judge Eugene O’Kelly cautioned because if she started drinking and offending again, she would be “in even more trouble than she is today”. He adjourned sentencing to February 27 for a probation report.