Wednesday 20 February 2019

Addict's wife who stole avoids jail term 'by skin of her teeth'

Kathleen Joyce
Kathleen Joyce

A thief caught stealing groceries claimed she took two cans of cola because she was thirsty and had no money.

Kathleen Joyce (27) was caught by security staff stealing €40 worth of items.

She had blamed a negative peer group for her offending behaviour, a judge said, but clearly she was a negative influence.

A court had heard that Joyce was struggling financially at the time due to her husband's heroin addiction.

Judge Anne Watkin ordered Joyce to complete 120 hours of community service in lieu of four months in prison.

The judge noted that Joyce had told probation officers she stole cola because she was thirsty.


The defendant, of Belcamp Crescent, Priorswood, had admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to stealing groceries worth €40 from Tesco in Blackrock on September 16, 2016.

The court heard that Joyce had 47 previous convictions, including 14 for theft-related offences.

Defence solicitor Kim Moloney said Joyce was married with three young children.

She said her client's marriage was dysfunctional and her husband had a heroin problem. He is now serving a prison sentence, and was not due for release until 2020.

Ms Moloney said Joyce had no drink or drug problems and was often the victim of "her husband's wrath", stealing to help him feed his habit.

Judge Watkin ordered Joyce to the complete community service, saying she had avoided a jail sentence "by the skin of her teeth".

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