Shoplifter gets one more chance

A woman who tripled the value of her shoplifting while still on bail from a previous conviction was given one more chance in court this week (May 2 ) when she promised “I’ll never rob again”, but warned she would get “six months or more” if she did.

The court was told how Emma Quinn (25 ), of Hillside House, Bower View, Athlone had taken €602 worth of items from Marks and Spencer on a date in February, but that this offence had happened while Quinn was still attending the Welfare and Probation Service in relation to a similar offence committed in September.

“She has let down the Probation Service,” said Judge Seamus Hughes.

“What’s the expression? Fool me once...,” he mused.

Her solicitor Padraig Quinn told the judge how his client “had a favourable report on the last occasion”, and that Judge Hughes had agreed to postpone sentencing “for a long time”.

“Unfortunately then these charges came to light and were re-entered,” said Mr Quinn.

He described his client’s lifestyle as “very chaotic”, but that “she has now stabilised on methadone since November 11”.

“Yes, but why did she go out after getting the [sentence] adjournment on March 7? She has increased by 300 per cent the value of what she’s stealing,” the judge pointed out.

Mr Quinn explained how his client had been in prison six times, with the longest stretch being seven months. She had a six-year-old son, and her grandmother had died at the weekend.

“And I’m not impressed by tears and crying. This report says she has a high risk of re-offending,” said the judge.

“I promise I’ll never rob again. I’ll never sell or touch a drug,” announced Quinn.

“I’ll write down what she said, Mr Quinn, and she’ll get six months in prison or more if she does. I hope you’ll not disappoint me. I won’t accept any further excuse. There’ll be no deviation from the hard road,” said the judge, before remanding Quinn on continuing bail until July 4.


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