herald

Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Psychotic' woman trashed tattoo shop in €1,500 rampage

Aoife Lawless pleaded guilty
Aoife Lawless pleaded guilty

A Dublin woman was in a "psychotic state" when she trashed a tattoo parlour, smashing the front window and hurling stock at staff.

A court heard Aoife Lawless (52) caused more than €1,500 worth of damage after she turned aggressive towards workers and her behaviour escalated, becoming physical.

Judge Michael Walsh said that if Lawless, who had already paid compensation, donated a further €500 to charity, he would leave her without a criminal record.

Escalated

The accused, of Linden Lea Park, Stillorgan, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at a shop on Aungier Street in the south city centre last October 20.

Staff reported to gardai at 7.15pm that Lawless, a customer, was refusing to leave.

She had become aggressive while speaking to staff, and when they asked her to leave her behaviour escalated to the point that she "became physical with staff", a garda sergeant said.

She threw stock, some of which was aimed at staff, and stopped only when a passer-by came to their assistance.

She broke a window, two glass cabinets and ornaments, which cost €1,556 to repair and replace. The owner had lost a few days of trading while repairs were carried out.

Lawless had no previous convictions of any kind.

She was a single mother who had recently been through some "personal trauma" in her life, her solicitor said.

When well, she was a "completely responsible and dedicated mother and worker".

Apology

Lawless had written a "fulsome" letter of apology and paid full compensation, Judge Walsh noted.

She had also taken part in an offender reparation and restorative justice programme.

Lawless had written a "long, reflective piece" discussing psychological issues, medical difficulties and the impact of her behaviour.

The judge adjourned the case and said he would leave Lawless without a conviction if she made a €500 donation to the Capuchin Day Centre.

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