Sympathy shown for woman who used child to steal

A woman who used her daughter in a shoplifting scam was saved a conviction this week (April 21 ) after the judge noted it was a “food issue”.

Ann Marie Doyle, a 33-year-old mother of five with an address in Keenagh, Co Longford was in court to plead guilty to one count of theft from Fox’s filling station on the Ballymahon Road on February 21, 2009.

The court heard how Doyle had entered the shop between 6.30 and 7pm with her daughter and one other woman and was seen on CCTV putting €297 worth of groceries into a bag that was carried out of the premises by her eight-year-old daughter.

None of the property was recovered, Inspector Nicholas Farrell told the court, but also noted that Doyle had no previous convictions save for one road traffic matter in 2004.

Her solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn, told the court his client had five children ranging in ages from 11 to two years of age and was separated from their father for over a year.

“The offence occured around this time and it would be fair to say the other female accompanying my client would be a lot more experienced in matters like this,” said Mr Quinn.

In pleading for leniency, he pointed out his client’s family “has a confirmation and a communion this year”.

“I’m noting it is a food issue,” said Judge David Anderson, before giving Doyle the benefit of the Probation Act.

“Mr Quinn, you tell her I won’t be able to save her from more serious charges,” he added.

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