Four months for city centre dress thief who pulled race card

A four month prison sentence was imposed on a woman who after stealing a €500 dress struggled with a Garda officer and then claimed that she had only been arrested because of the colour of her skin.

Before sentencing, Judge Mary Fahy described Miriam Adedosu’s racial discrimination claims as “absolutely ridiculous” as she had been caught red-handed stealing the dress from the Treasure Chest on William Street more than three years ago.

The 34-year-old Nigerian national with an address of 37 Cloch Ard, Rahoon, appeared at Galway District Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to theft and resisting arrest on August 5, 2005. The defendant had only been arrested on foot of a bench warrant the morning before the court sitting because gardai had difficulty in locating her.

Inspector Pat McHugh told the court that at 1.30pm the defendant entered the Treasure Chest and stole a dress worth €500. When stopped by the garda she struggled, “broke free”, and ran into Monsoon where the garda had to been assisted by an off duty member. The defendant told gardai that the only reason for the arrest was because she was “coloured”. The dress was never recovered. The court also heard how Adedosu has two previous convictions for theft.

“This is very unusual. It’s normal for people to come into court and put their hands up, but she was not having any of it and pulled a garda into another shop,” said Judge Fahy in disbelief.

Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor said that her client, a mother of two who has been in the country for nine years, was having financial difficulties at the time. She said that Adedosu now works part-time, has not come to the attention of gardai since, and is “trying to be a useful member of society”.

“She has no valid excuse for her behaviour,” said Judge Fahy who imposed a three month sentence for resisting arrest and a further one month consecutive sentence for the theft. Adedosu later lodged an appeal.

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