herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Budding actress stole phone at cinema to fund drug addiction

Olga Kelly Farrell (30), a budding actress,had “fallen by the wayside”, solicitor Matthew De Courcy said. (Stock photo)
Olga Kelly Farrell (30), a budding actress,had “fallen by the wayside”, solicitor Matthew De Courcy said. (Stock photo)

A budding actress "lost her way" when she developed a drug addiction and began stealing to feed it, taking a woman's iPhone during a trip to the cinema.

Olga Kelly Farrell (30) was also seen throwing away a bag of crack cocaine.

Judge Bryan Smyth jailed her for 10 months after she admitted theft, drugs and motoring offences. He also banned her from driving for six years.

Dublin District Court heard Kelly Farrell, of Edenmore Crescent, Raheny, began illegally buying medication to deal with anxiety, then started using heroin to ease back injury pain.

The court heard that on October 10, 2016, Kelly Farrell was searched at Ballybough House.

She was seen throwing away a bag of crack cocaine worth €100. Cash of €575 was also seized.

On October 13, 2015, she was stopped while driving without insurance or a licence at Arran Quay.

She gave gardai her sister's name and a different birth date.

In an incident on January 22, 2016, she took €400 of clothes into a changing room at Arnotts, Henry Street, put them in a bag and left without paying.

Chaotic

She stole a €600 iPhone at the Odeon Cinema on Malahide Road, Coolock, on January 7 last year.

After the victim reported it missing, Kelly Farrell was seen on CCTV footage pocketing it. It was not recovered.

The court heard the defendant had 59 previous convictions.

She was a budding actress, but things had "fallen by the wayside", solicitor Matthew De Courcy said.

All the offences were in the context of a drug addiction that "developed and escalated quickly" and a chaotic lifestyle.

The mother-of-one came from a "strong academic background", had studied theatre at Colaiste Dhulaigh and got a diploma from the Gaiety School of Acting.

She had worked at the Irish Film Institute but "anxiety got the better of her". She was taking prescription medication and began buying drugs illegally.

Kelly Farrell suffered a back injury in 2015 that "threw her off kilter". She ended up taking heroin to ease the pain and stealing to serve the habit.

She had now "settled back down" and was on methadone.

"She is a lady who has lost her way," Mr De Courcy said.

"She is an educated lady who has significant prospects once she is clear of all drugs. She is at sea but trying to find her way back into port."

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