Drug addict on shoplifting charge

Mother of three engaging with residential service to address addiction

Longford Leader

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Man thanks judge at a Donegal court for jailing him in the past

A recovering drug addict has been convicted and fined for her involvement in the theft of close to €250 worth of goods from a toy store in Longford town.

Frances Harrison, of 49 Wainsfort Park, Dublin 6W, was fined €150 for the offence which occurred at Toytown, Athlone Road, Longford on April 15 2016.

Inspector Blaitin Moran said Ms Harrison was observed entering the store accompanied by another woman shortly before the pair made off with approximately €249.94 of items.

They included a summer cradler, a Tommie Tippie bottle bag, fun to see room deco, magical fairies, a Fisher Price Kick and Play piano gym, a Fisher Price three in one projection soother and Silver Cloud little lion bedding.

In the course of that exchange, it was revealed Ms Harrison had 46 previous convictions to her name.

Gazing across at Ms Harrison, Judge Hughes said he was more than a little surprised to hear of the Dublin woman’s criminal past.

“You would think butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth,” he stated.

“It just goes to show you how naive country judges can be.”

In mitigation, it was revealed Ms Harrison was a mother of three young children and had been battling cocaine and cannabis addictions for the past ten years.

One of her children, it was added, was now in foster care while her other two children resided with her former partner.

Accompanied to court by a family friend, the court heard Ms Harrison was actively seeking treatment for her addictions and was currently enrolled at Dublin’s Coolmine Residential Treatment Centre.

Noting the fact Ms Harrison was being supported by a friend, he asked why the mother of three hadn’t brought a close family member along to court also.

Ms Harrison replied, saying her father had only just arrived back from Australia and that her four younger brothers were all under the age of 14.

She added it was her intention to stay in situ at Coolmine for a five month period.

Judge Hughes said given Ms Harrison’s predilection for drugs, the incident at Toytown in April 2016, it seemed likely that it was necessitated to fuel that habit.

Ms Harrison disputed the Judge’s take on events by insisting the items, all of which were for newborn babies, were intended for her co-accused who was pregnant at the time.

Appearing taken by Ms Harrison’s attempts to arrest her dependencies, he would only impose a fine of €150, giving her three months to pay.