“Chronic addict” gets 15 months for surgery thefts

A woman warned in June after pleading guilty to the theft of a prescription pad from a doctor’s surgery that she would face jail if any further charges arose, was jailed for 15 months last week after she was convicted of seven additional thefts, including one from another surgery.

On June 22 Jessica Gaffey (28 ), a heroin addict formerly of Brawney Square, but now with an address c/o the Simon Community, pleaded guilty to the theft from the surgery of Dr Maria McGrath in the Athlone Towncentre on May 30.

In court last week, Gaffey pleaded guilty to a similar theft from the Newtown Medical Centre on July 25, as well as a couple of handbag thefts, an attempted break-in, and twice failing to appear in court, on dates between April 10 and July 28.

Her solicitor, Mr Mark Cooney, explained how his client had a “chronic addiction for some time now...and all thefts and burglaries were to sustain her habit”.

“She accepts she is going to jail and believes that’s the best place she can get treatment. She’s tried it [seeking treatment] on the outside and can’t do it,” he said.

He explained how both Gaffey’s parents died in tragic circumstances, and her sister took her own life.

“Her most recent offence was as recent as this morning,” he stated matter-of-factly.

“It gives me no joy to send you to prison,” said Judge Seamus Hughes, who gave her six months for a break-in on Connacht Street on May 31, a consecutive six months for the surgery tHeft on July 25, and a further consecutive three months for the May 30 offence.

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