Early release for repeat shoplifting offender annoys judge again

Judge Seamus Hughes was again exercised on his pet hate when a repeat shoplifter told him she only spent one day from her last sentence behind bars.

In court this week (January 15 ) stood Kathleen Maughan (45 ), from Knockdomney, Moate who was pleading guilty to the attempted theft of €79 worth of clothing from Penneys, Golden Island on the afternoon of November 3.

However, after Inspector Aidan Minnock explained how Maughan had 15 previous convictions, seven of which were for theft, one of which saw her receive a five-month sentence in Ballinasloe District Court on January 24, 2013, Judge Hughes enquired as to how long of this she served,

“I was released the following day,” she admitted.

“Now, isn’t that a very effective deterrent for her not to commit an eighth offence,” sighed the judge.

However, Maughan pointed out that she spent four weeks of a three-month sentence handed down in Castlerea on November 4, 2011.

“That’s funny, well no, more amusing,” the judge corrected himself.

“Tell me when you’re in there [prison], the talk that goes around, saying you’d be getting out very fast, or you would if you said this or that. Go on, tell me,” enquired the judge.

“Yeah. it depends on the space, whether it’s [the prison] full. And your circumstances at home,” Maughan agreed.

“So, what am I going to do with you, Mrs Maughan?” asked Judge Hughes.

Her solicitor, Mr Mark Cooney, explained how his client was the mother of eight children, two of whom were married.

He went on to point out the 17-year-old son who accompanied his mother to court was sitting his Leaving Cert and was an Irish national champion in jazz dance.

Accepting this, the judge fined Maughan €50 and warned her: “I don’t want to see you again”.

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