Dying woman and her pal stole €500 of bedclothes from store
A TERMINALLY ill woman and her friend who stole more than €500 worth of bedclothes from a west Dublin store have been convicted of shoplifting.
Martina Kinsella (40) and Deborah Clarke (41) were both fined €262 when they pleaded guilty to theft charges arising from the incident.
Kinsella, with an address at St Anthony's Road, Rialto, and Clarke, of Clonard Road, Crumlin, were acting "in concert" when they stole the goods at Marks & Spencer, Liffey Valley. Sgt Maria Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court the accused went to the store at 7.30pm on October 28, 2010, selected a number of items of bedclothes worth €524 and left without paying.
They were apprehended outside, arrested and charged.
The property was recovered in a saleable condition. Clarke had three previous convictions and had been given a suspended sentence previously for theft.
Kinsella had six previous convictions for offences including larceny. The bedclothes had been taken for the defendants' personal use, their solicitor, Martin Coen, said.
"It was a spur of the moment decision, in their words, it wasn't well-thought out or planned," he said.
Clarke is married with three adult children and is a full-time carer for her husband who was on kidney dialysis. The court heard she had a daughter living in Australia and was concerned that another conviction might lead the authorities there to prevent her travelling.
"At one stage you had to have a conviction to go to Australia," Judge Anthony Halpin remarked.
Kinsella is single with two adult children. She is on disability allowance and has a terminal illness.
Her last conviction was in 2002, Mr Coen pointed out.
Judge Halpin said he "didn't accept that it was a spur of the moment" offence.