herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

No early release for grieving gran jailed over fines

PLEA: Family begged for a little compassion

Catherine Teeling was jailed for 30 days.
Catherine Teeling was jailed for 30 days.
Catherine's daughter Audrey and granddaughter Tory
The late Sadie Teeling

THE Dublin grandmother who was jailed on the six-week anniversary of her sister's death will spend her entire 30-day sentence behind bars.

Sixty-four-year-old Catherine Teeling was sent to the Dochas women's prison on Monday for failing to pay fines.

Ms Teeling and her daughter, Audrey, were left shocked after two gardai arrived at her inner city apartment and told her she was being brought to prison.

 

COMPASSIONATE

They had been discussing how to afford the cost of burying Catherine's sister, Sarah, when the officers arrived.

Sadie Teeling (82) plunged to her death while trying to clean her windows at the Avondale House complex in Dublin. Catherine discovered her body on the courtyard and has "struggled to cope" ever since, according to family.

But any hopes that Catherine would be released on compassionate grounds appear to have been dashed. Prison sources last night said that she would not be granted early release because the offence related to the illegal sale of tobacco.

"We'd prefer not have a woman in here like Catherine, who is in the middle of a grieving period. Nonetheless, her offences are treated seriously by the State. She won't be allowed out early," a source told the Herald.

Audrey last night told of the "heartbreaking moment" her mother rang her from the Dochas Centre.

"I've spoken to her which is a relief to know she is okay but it was just heartbreaking. My daughter Tory keeps asking 'Where's granny?'," Audrey said.

"I know what my mam did wasn't right but I am pleading with the authorities. She needs counselling to get through what she is going through. She wouldn't hurt a fly, please, we are begging the authorities to let her out."

Independent councillor Christy Burke has contacted the prison authorities on behalf of the family.

"I've been onto the prison service, making representations every day but from my understanding now is that she will spend the entire 30 days there. I'm appealing for her to be let out on compassionate grounds," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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