A woman with 62 convictions for stealing things and numerous other theft–related offences was sentenced to ten months in jail for driving out without paying for €40 worth of petrol.
Deirdre O’Sullivan of 128 Comeragh Park, The Glen, Cork, was the driver of a car which pulled into O’Reilly’s garage on Watercourse Road, Cork, back on October 17, 2018.
Her front-seat passenger got out and filled up with the petrol and got back in the car before O’Sullivan drove away from the forecourt without either party offering payment, Sergeant Gearóid Davis said today at Cork District Court.
Shane Collins-Daly, solicitor, said the accused was already serving a three-year sentence which was affirmed recently on appeal at the Court of Appeal.
Judge Kelleher said before imposing the concurrent ten-month sentence for the petrol theft that he was taking into account the fact that O’Sullivan had 184 previous convictions, of which 62 were for theft.
Last month in the Court of Appeal, Desmond Hayes, barrister, appealed O’Sullivan’s sentence saying that it was in a moment of panic she decided not to plead guilty at Cork District Court and that theft case ended up being prosecution at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
If she had pleaded guilty in Cork District Court the maximum sentence of one year would have been reduced by some fraction because of the plea of guilty.
However, when she pleaded guilty later at Cork Circuit Criminal Court – having opted to go forward to that court – she was jailed for three years.
Mr Hayes submitted that only €500 in cash was stolen, as well as cards and identification documents that were contained in the handbag which stole. It belonged to a member of staff in a restaurant at Princes Street.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said that while the financial value was not enormous but that, “the elephant in the room” was the number of previous convictions.”
The appellant entered a staff room at a restaurant at Princes Street, Cork, on September 22 2017.