SHOPS struggling to stay afloat in difficult times have to be protected from shoplifters, the senior judge at Cork District Court declared.
Kaitlin O’Driscoll of 25 Courtown Drive, Knocknaheeny, Cork, gathered €1,000 in compensation for all of the shops she stole goods from in the course of a shoplifting spree.
And her solicitor Frank Buttimer said she was under particularly difficult personal circumstances at that time as she found herself without any source of social welfare for the period.
Mr Buttimer said the young woman first raised €300 compensation and then the case was put back further and she had raised the balance of €700 through family.
Judge Olann Kelleher said the accused was coming before Cork District Court pleading guilty to eight counts of theft and two counts of handling property that had been stolen from a number of shops.
Mr Buttimer said the items stolen consisted largely of household goods, clothing and cosmetics and the offences were committed in a confined period between August 2020 and January 2021 when she had particular difficulties.
However, Judge Kelleher said he was imposing a jail sentence of five months.
“We all know the difficulty shops have with people like this.
“I take into consideration that she raised money to compensate them – I was going to impose a much higher sentence for the spree she was involved in.
“She was going in with a pram and her hood up. It is not fair to the people working in these shops and not fair to the employers keeping shops afloat in difficult times,” Judge Kelleher said.