Woman avoids jail because of new crime

A woman who pleaded guilty to two public order charges in court this week (September 22 ) with an 11 month suspended sentence hanging over her for a previous theft conviction, avoided a jail term when the judge allowed the defence of only enforcing a suspended sentence for a similar conviction.

Ica Muntean (25 ) with an address in Meadowbrook, Willow Park, Athlone was arrested at 8.10pm on August 8 after Gardai were called to a disturbance involving a number of “families shouting and roaring”, and was subsequently charged with causing a public disturbance and refusing to follow a garda’s direction. Through a translator, Muntean pleaded guilty to these charges in court this week.

Inspector Nicholas Farrell told the court how the defendant had six previous convictions, all for theft, and this included an 11 month sentence, suspended for a year, which she received on July 28.

Her solicitor, Mr Paul Connellan explained how a number of male relations of his client “were involved in an incident near where she lived”.

“The defendant’s father was injured and bleeding on the ground. She had lost control and was hysterical but was very much on the periphery of affairs,” said Mr Connellan.

He went on to point out that, despite the six convictions for theft - in places as disparate as Athlone, Naas, Portlaoise, and Ballyhaunis - his single mother client had no previous convictions for public order offences.

“Because of this, Mr Connellan, I do not need to apply the Section 99 [an order to the Circuit Court to apply the suspended sentence],” said Judge David Anderson, before fining Muntean €250, and giving her two months to pay.

Last March Judge Neilan threatened to send Muntean to Mountjoy if she didn’t sign up to an English language course before July, however, no reference was made in court this week as to whether this was achieved or not.



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