herald

Sunday 27 May 2018

Shoplifter was 'not thinking straight' after partner's death

Samantha Grant Fitzgerald apologised for her behaviour. Photo: Douglas O'Connor/www.doug.ie
Samantha Grant Fitzgerald apologised for her behaviour. Photo: Douglas O'Connor/www.doug.ie

A shoplifter who stole clothing from a department store "wasn't thinking straight" at the time, as her partner had died a few days previously.

Samantha Grant Fitzgerald (26) apologised for her behaviour, claiming she "didn't know what she was doing" when she took the items.

Loss

Judge John Cheatle sympathised with the defendant for her loss, and in light of the circumstances he applied the Probation Act.

The defendant, of Pinewood Green Court, Balbriggan, admitted before Swords District Court to a charge of theft from Penneys in the Pavilions Shopping Centre, Swords, on July 6 this year.

Sergeant Bob Kavanagh said gardai were called to Penneys shortly after 8pm following reports that security staff had stopped a shoplifter.

Sgt Kavanagh said Fitzgerald had attempted to leave the store without paying for €266 worth of clothing and accessories.

Sgt Kavanagh said Fitzgerald co-operated fully with gardai and the property was all recovered in a resalable condition.

The court heard that she had no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said that Fitzgerald was a lone parent with two young children.

The defendant was unemployed and on social welfare, the court heard.

Incident

In relation to this incident, Ms D'Arcy said that the shoplifting took place a few days after the death of the defendant's partner.

The solicitor said Fitzgerald was grieving her partner and was "not thinking straight" at the time.

Ms D'Arcy also said that the defendant wished to apologise for her behaviour at the time of the incident.

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