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Mum stole doll, wine and baby formula in crack-fuelled spree

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A mother-of-five who stole baby formula, a doll and wine during a spate of 26 thefts had a normal life until she was "completely consumed" by a crack addiction.

Linda Staunton (45) was jailed for 10 months for the drug-fuelled crime spree after a court heard she had 238 previous convictions.

Staunton, of Dunne Street Flats, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to a series of thefts.

Dublin District Court heard that on April 12, gardaí were called to SuperValu, Aston Quay, where the accused had hidden two bottles of wine, baby formula and meat on her person and tried to leave without paying.

When challenged, she said she had no money to pay for the goods and "only received €119 in social welfare".

She was found with three bottles of stolen wine, baby formula and groceries on Dorset Street on May 15.

On August 12, gardaí saw her acting suspiciously at Abbey Street Upper, clutching a bag tightly over her shoulder.

When they approached her, she became evasive and tried to avoid them by boarding a Luas tram.

Curtains

She had stolen curtains, sandals and cosmetics in the bag and expressed "her anger at the gardaí for catching her", a sergeant said.

On August 3, she looked "extremely anxious" at Liffey Street Upper before she was caught with stolen clothing.

Security at H&M off Grafton Street called gardaí on August 16 after she was caught taking jewellery.

Officers found €113 worth of cosmetics she had stolen from Boots and a €50 doll from Forbidden Planet in her bag.

She also stole €25 worth of clothes from Jojo Maman Bebe on Wicklow Street on July 22.

Staunton, who walked in wearing a mask, took clothing and was identified on CCTV. She admitted other thefts of clothes, groceries and cosmetics from stores around Dublin.

The accused came from a good family, had worked as a cleaner and was never in trouble until she developed a crack addiction in her 30s, counsel Yvonne Bambury told Judge Michael Walsh.

She was living a hand-to-mouth existence trying to feed her addiction.

"Her shoplifting is entirely drug fuelled," Ms Bambury said.