herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Carer 'pressured to commit crimes by addict husband'

Bridget McDonagh has more than 30 previous convictions
Bridget McDonagh has more than 30 previous convictions

A carer who ran away from home when she was only 15 years old to be with her heroin-addicted partner was pressured by him to commit crimes, a court has heard.

Bridget McDonagh (26) was caught handling a stolen mobile phone because her husband needed "a lot of money" to feed his heroin addiction.

Judge David McHugh handed McDonagh a four-month sentence, fined her €300 and disqualified her from driving for 10 years.

The defendant admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to handling a stolen mobile phone at Porterstown Road in Diswellstown on November 13, 2015,

McDonagh further admitted dangerous driving and driving without insurance or a driving licence during the same incident.

The court heard the defendant, of St Brigid's Lawn in Clonsilla, has more than 30 previous convictions, mostly for theft and road traffic matters.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming accepted McDonagh has "a bad record".

Mr Fleming said the defendant has been with her partner since she was 15 years old.

Addict

He said her family did not approve of the relationship and she ran away from home to be with him.

McDonagh's family brought her home on two occasions, but she ran away a third time to be with her partner, he added.

He said she has had no contact with her family ever since, and she lives with her husband.

The solicitor said McDonagh's husband is a chronic heroin addict.

In relation to these incidents, Mr Fleming said McDonagh's husband was with her at the time, and he would have needed "a lot of money to feed his habit".

The court heard the defendant is a carer for her husband's grandmother, who is wheelchair bound. She also has a young daughter, he said.

Mr Fleming asked the judge not to send McDonagh to jail, and said she had been pressured by her husband to commit the offences.

Mr Fleming also said a lot of McDonagh's money would have been used by her partner to feed his heroin habit.

Judge McHugh said he had "no hesitation in jailing this lady".

McDonagh immediately appealed the sentence.

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