A woman described in court as “a career criminal”, who was jailed for nearly two years earlier this month for stealing a tea trolley from a train, got half a chance in her Circuit Court appeal this week (February 24 ) when she said she wanted to finish her Junior Cert and get a job.
Emma Quinn (22 ), a mother of a three-year-old son, with an address at Bower View, Athlone was in court to appeal the 22 month sentence handed down on February 4 for the trolley theft and a spate of Christmas present shoplifting.
Quinn, a known heroin addict, told the court she did not want to be “in and out” of jail for the rest of her life and had taken steps to deal with her addiction.
“I’ve realised this now I’m off drugs,” she said.
“I’ve done some subjects but I want to finish my Junior Cert at Stepping Out. I want to get a job.”
She told Peter D Jones, prosecuting, that she would engage with the probation services “to prove I could stay off drugs” but he was less than sympathetic.
“You get every chance possible but you throw them back at the judge,” he said.
“You simply say you have a drug problem...the State gives you a lot of money. You haven’t had a real job. Why? Because you’re a career criminal.”
“Give her something to work towards,” pleaded her barrister, Ms Collette Egan.
Judge Anthony Kennedy ordered Quinn continue her sentence until at least May 19 for a report from a drug counsellor “to see if this is fact or fiction”.
If such a report is favourable on that date, Quinn could expect the rest of her sentence be suspended.