Longford District Court
A woman who appeared before a sitting of Longford District Court last week charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act was sentenced to three months in prison which the judge suspended for three years following a brief hearing into the matter.
Megan Gaffey, 21 The Rise, Lakepoint, Mullingar, Co Westmeath appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing goods to the value of €49 from SuperValu, Longford on November 9, 2018.
Outlining the evidence to the court Sergeant Paddy McGirl said that on the date in question at approximately 8:30pm, security staff at the Longford town store contacted gardaí in respect of a theft.
The court was told the defendant had placed a number of items – including alcohol – into her shopping basket and then tried to leave without paying.
“Ms Gaffey had taken groceries to the value of €49,” added Sergeant McGirl.
“There was two bottles of Buckfast in her basket and she then attempted to leave the store without paying for the items.”
Meanwhile, in mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor John Quinn said his client’s luck had been down at the time of the incident.
He also told the court that the defendant had been having a rough time of it in recent months but was making every effort to put things right.
“She is homeless and her child is in care,” continued Mr Quinn.
“She is liaising with social services to try and get her child back.”
During his deliberations on the matter Judge Hughes told the defendant that her “chickens have come home to roost”.
“All the help and guidance you have gotten Ms Gaffey and you have ignored it all,” the Judge fumed at the defendant.
Judge Hughes subsequently convicted the defendant and sentenced her to the prison term which he then suspended for a period of three years on the grounds that she enter a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the duration of the suspension.
“I do not want to see you before me again Ms Gaffey,” fumed Judge Hughes before bringing matters to a conclusion.