A woman who couldn’t lift her head from the bench beside her solicitor, and had to dash from court twice to be sick during her trial for theft this week (September 8 ), was still sentenced to a further three months in jail.
Lisa McCarthy (24 ), with an address at Grotto View, Battery Heights, Athlone appeared in court from custody where she still has one month left of a 22-month sentence. She initally applied for bail, but decided to change her plea to guilty after gardai pointed out she had 11 previous bench warrants issued for failure to attend court.
“Oh right. Discretion the better part of valour,” suggested Judge Patrick McMahon to McCarthy’s solicitor, Mr Tony McLynn.
The court then heard how the defendant took two flat screen monitors worth €500 from Aldi at 1.32pm on April 1, as well as the tip jar from Torc restaurant on Dublingate Street on September 5, worth €16, none of which were recovered. On both occasions McCarthy committed these offences whilst on temporary release from prison, and has 38 previous convictions, with 17 of them for theft.
With his client sitting slumped on the bench beside him, Mr McLynn told the court that his client “was on look-out duty rather than taking an active part”.
“Look-outs are equally as guilty,” said the judge.
Referring to her heroin addiction, Mr McLynn told the court how his client was now on 20ml of methadone, “down from 100[ml] last year”. On two occasions during the proceedings, a strategically placed garda briskly escorted McCarthy to the bathroom after she stood up holding her mouth.
He told the court the most recent bench warrant handed down to his client in April was because she was afraid she’d have missed her eight-year-old’s first communion in May had she been jailed at that appearance.
Judge McMahon sentenced her to three months for the theft from Aldi and took the two other charges into consideration.