herald

Sunday 25 June 2017

‘Silly’ theft of €5.95 bag of spuds costs pals €80 each

Jennifer Burke (left) and Nikita Furey made charity donations. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Jennifer Burke (left) and Nikita Furey made charity donations. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Two friends who “put their futures at risk” over the theft of a bag of potatoes have  been left without criminal records.

Jennifer Burke (28) stole the €5.95 sack of spuds from a greengrocer’s shop and put it into the boot of a car driven by her pal Nikita Furey (22).

Judge David McHugh left them without convictions after they admitted their parts in the “silly” crime and made €80 charity donations.

Burke, of Spiddal Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to stealing the bag of potatoes from Mick’s Fruit & Veg in Lucan.

Furey, of Cherry Orchard Court, Ballyfermot, admitted a charge of handling stolen property in the same incident.

When they entered their pleas before the judge last month, he told them it was unfortunate that they had risked a theft conviction over a bag of potatoes.

However, when the case came back before Blanchardstown District Court, he was told they had paid the charity contributions and dismissed the charges under the Probation Of OffendersAct.

The court heard the incident happened last October 4.

Gda Thomas Pierce said in evidence that Burke went to the shop on the day in question and stole the potatoes before putting them in a car driven by Furey.

The officer said the car was stopped a short distance away and the defendants were co-operative.

The court heard Burke had no previous convictions while Furey had two, but they were for road traffic offences.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said Burke, a mother-of-two, regretted the incident, which was “a ridiculous thing to do”.

He said she is currently training to be a beauty therapist.

Furey’s solicitor, John Wood, said she had one daughter and was expecting a second.

Both of the accused apologised and asked the judge for leniency.

The charges against the defendants were under Sections 4 and 17 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

The two accused smiled as they stood in the dock during the finalisation of their cases.

They did not address the court during the brief hearing.

The judge’s decision means they will not receive recorded convictions.

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