Compo or jail, ‘accordion’ to judge

An Athlone mother was sentenced to 11 months in prison in the District Court this week (November 4 ) for stealing an accordion in Mullingar last year, but had the sentence deferred for three months to see is she can come up with compensation.

The court heard how Elizabeth O’Neill (36 ), from Meadowbrook, Willow Park, Athlone entered Rochforts on Dominick Street in Mullingar at around 6.40pm on July 18, 2008 where she stole the musical instrument valued at €360.

“She just put it over her shoulder and walked out of the shop,” said the investigating garda in evidence.

He told the court O’Neill was identified on CCTV and that the accordion was not recovered.

O’Neill had been arrested the morning of court on foot of a bench warrant after failing to appear on the original court date for the offence in Mullingar.

Her only previous conviction read to the court was one from Mullingar Circuit Court on February 18 for an assault committed the previous June.

It was noted that she had seven other convictions and the judge recalled her being listed to appear before him in Mullingar but not showing.

Her solicitor, Mr Mark Cooney, told the court his client was with others on the day in question and “is prepared to make good if given time.”

Judge John Neilan sentenced O’Neill to 11 months in Mountjoy “if she doesn’t come up with €360 compensation before January 20”.

“I’ll adjourn the sentence until then,” he said.

He remanded O’Neill on her own bond of €500.

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