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24/10/2021

Longford woman accused of credit card theft escapes conviction

Longford Courthouse.

A mother of five who picked up a credit card she found on the ground has escaped criminal conviction despite repeatedly attempting to 'tap and pay' for items in a Longford retail store.

A mother of five who picked up a credit card she found on the ground has escaped criminal conviction despite repeatedly attempting to 'tap and pay' for items in a Longford retail store.

Maria Potova (31), of 14 Curbro House, Great Water Street, Longford, was in attendance at last week's sitting of Longford District Court charged with five counts of theft and handling stolen property offences arising out of an incident at Kellehers Spar, Main Street, Longford on August 13 2021.

Ms Potova did not speak during last week's hearing as her solicitor Frank Gearty handed over €25 by way of compensation to the court.

He said the card had been found by the accused on the floor and after being told she was “lucky” by a friend and another associate, Ms Potova entered the store and fraudulently attempted to use the card.

“She was obvious to the people (shop workers) on CCTV and now she has been brought to book and is facing conviction,” added Mr Gearty.

He also insisted the incident was “out of character” for a woman who had never been in court previously and had been resident in Ireland for well over a decade.

Judge Seamus Hughes said given Ms Potova's previously unblemished past, her early plea and the fact compensation money had been handed into court, he was of a mind to spare the accused of adding of a criminal sanction to her name.

As such, he issued Ms Potova with Section 1 (2) of the Probation Act.

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