A 43-year-old homeless woman benefitted from spending the Christmas holidays in prison and now she has been sentenced to four months in jail for a catalogue of offences committed over the past six months.
Frank Buttimer solicitor said at Cork District Court that Anne Marie Ward was pleading guilty to all the charges against her, mainly for being drunk and a danger, failing to appear in court, and shoplifting.
Mr Buttimer said that because she had no intoxicants for more than a fortnight and had been put on stabilising medication she had benefitted significantly from being in custody.
The solicitor said that on her release from prison Ward wants to continue under the direction of the probation service and go for rehabilitation.
She pleaded guilty today to 13 counts of being drunk and a danger on various dates in the past six months, four counts of failing to show up in court, one of theft and two of engaging in threatening behaviour.
Judge Olann Kelleher commented on Ward’s recent remand in custody and said, “Things have improved slightly. Hopefully, that improvement will continue.”
It emerged before Christmas that because of serious personal challenges and a huge number of public order convictions she had been admitted to the accident and emergency unit of Mercy University Hospital at least 650 times.
Garda Lorraine O’Donovan arrested Ann Marie Ward just before Christmas and said hospital records noted 650 admissions by Ann Marie Ward to the Mercy University Hospital.
Garda O’Donovan said of Ward’s hospital visits, “They have stopped recording them.”