Cosmetics thief claimed she had been 'overcharged' before
A hairdresser caught stealing cosmetics from a city store maintained she had been overcharged before.
A court heard Timea Gergely (34) was stopped when security staff spotted her taking the goods in the run up to Christmas.
Judge Timothy Lucey applied the Probation Act, leaving her without a criminal record, after she made a €100 donation to charity.
Gergely, a mother-of-one of Francis Street in the south inner city, pleaded guilty to theft.
Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Penneys on Mary Street last Dec- ember 20.
Gda Katrina Kelleher told Judge Lucey the defendant walked out of the store without making any effort to pay for the €11 worth of cosmetics she had taken.
She was stopped by security, taken back inside and the gardai were called.
The property was recovered in a saleable condition and returned to the shop.
Gergely was arrested and taken to Pearse Street Garda Station.
The accused had indicated before the court hearing that she intended pleading guilty, her barrister said.
Gda Kelleher agreed that Gergely had been easily apprehended and cooperative. She had apologised on the day.
The garda said she did not expect the accused to come before the court again and Gergely had no previous convictions of any kind.
The court heard that the defendant was originally from Hungary but had spent the last eight years in Ireland.
She was a fully qualified hairdresser and was working part-time.
Gergely had never been in trouble before and was "quite ashamed" of what she had done, her lawyer said.
She said she had been previously overcharged for something.
"The whole experience has been very frightening for her and very shameful," he said.
"She made a mistake on the day. She made a very stupid decision."
Judge Lucey said the poor box had been seen sometimes as a way for people to "buy their way out of trouble", but it had not been the case on this occasion.