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Saturday 18 November 2017

Serial thief dubbed 'threat to retailers' was on drugs at 10

April O'Brien
April O'Brien

A serial shoplifter who was described by a judge as a "threat" to retailers in Dublin has been jailed for eight months.

Mother-of-one April O'Brien (24) "could not walk into a Boots without stealing something", said Judge Anthony Halpin.

He acknowledged that O'Brien had a difficult life, having started taking drugs at the age of 10.

However, he said the courts had been "compassionate" in the past towards O'Brien, who was already under a suspended sentence.

Judge Halpin imposed a nine-month sentence, with the final month suspended.

O'Brien, of Carman's Hall, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to multiple theft charges.

Dublin District Court heard that most of the thefts happened at Boots on Grafton Street.

Convictions

O'Brien shoplifted hundreds of euro worth of razors and make-up on March 13, 22 and 25 and April 2.

She also stole cosmetics from the Ilac Centre branch of Boots on October 18.

She had 63 previous convictions, mostly for theft, and had been given suspended sentences.

O'Brien had started using cannabis when she was 10, before moving on to heroin at 14.

She was "heavily strung out" by the age of 18, and had been on and off heroin since then, her solicitor Stephanie O'Meara said.

The accused was "genuinely remorseful".

O'Brien had been given a suspended sentence last February and it did not convince her it was wrong to steal, said Judge Halpin.

"She is a person who represents a de facto threat to commercial retailers in Dublin city centre," said the judge.

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