herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Woman who stole groceries and clothes is spared jail

Esther Martin made a donation to Blanchardstown Hospice
Esther Martin made a donation to Blanchardstown Hospice

A woman who stole clothes from a store in the run-up to Christmas has been given a six-month suspended sentence.

Esther Martin (41) avoided jail for the theft, which was the second she had carried out in the space of three months.

Blanchardstown District Court heard she had alcohol and drug addictions at the time and these were behind the offences.

Martin, of Barry Road, Finglas, was convicted of two counts of theft.

In the first, last July 11, she stole groceries worth €92 from Tesco, Clearwater Shopping Centre, Finglas.

In the second, she took €114 worth of clothing from Penneys, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, last December 18.

The case was heard previously and was back before Judge David McHugh for payment of compensation to the victims.

Martin had money in court for this, her lawyer said.

A report outlined her "previous experiences and difficulties" and the lawyer asked the judge to be as lenient as possible in the circumstances.

Vices

"She developed a difficulty with alcohol and drugs during the period of these offences," the lawyer said. "It was through these vices that the offences occurred."

Martin had now been of good behaviour for some time, he added. She was attending an addiction treatment centre and was "making progress" there.

Doctors' letters were handed in to court in relation to the accused's addictions and these were noted by the judge in mitigation.

He warned Martin, however, that her mitigation on these points had "now been spent" and would not be taken into consideration again.

The sentence was suspended for two years on condition that the accused entered a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour during that time.

Sgt Mary Doherty said the goods in both cases had been recovered and returned to the shops in a saleable condition.

She asked the judge to dir-ect the compensation be paid as a charity donation to the Blanchardstown Hospice instead.

The judge agreed to do this.

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