Six months in prison for handbag theft

A woman, who has 38 previous convictions for theft alone, was sentenced to six months in prison at Ballina District Court this week.

Gardaí were notified that a handbag was stolen from Mocha Beans coffee shop in Ballina on September 4 2012 at around 2pm. The bag which belonged to Catherine Walsh from Swinford contained €480 cash, a phone and bank cards.

CCTV was viewed and a suspect was identified—Mary O’Neill, 19 Higginstown Wood, Granard, County Longford. The defendant was observed by gardaí at Ballina bus station attempting to board the bus to Longford. O’Neill was accompanied by another person and the defendant’s son.

Initially she denied knowledge about the theft but she then admitted the theft and the handbag and contents were recovered.

O’Neill who is pregnant, lives with her partner and son in Longford.

When asked by Judge Mary Devins why she was in Ballina that day, solicitor for O’Neill Marc Loftus said that she was in town as her partner was dropping his child back to his former partner.

Judge Devins convicted and fined her €500 and sentenced her to six months in prison.

Recognisance was fixed.


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