A CORK woman blamed “a bad crowd from Kilkenny” for leading her astray in a case where she went shoplifting and verbally abused a member of staff at a pharmacy as “a blondie prostitute.”
Julianne McDonagh, of 1 Inchera Close, Mahon, Cork, got a five-month jail term at Cork District Court and now she has appealed that sentence to Cork Circuit Appeals Court.
Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background to the charges of theft and engaging in threatening behaviour that resulted in the total sentence of five months being imposed on McDonagh, aged 21.
The incident occurred at Boots at Mahon Point on February 11, 2021.
Julianne McDonagh was one of two women who went into the pharmacy that day and stole €291 worth of cosmetics.
“Julianne McDonagh was not wearing a face covering. She refused to put on a mask when approached in relation to the matter by a member of staff.
“She got aggressive and called her a blondie prostitute and a whore,” Sgt. Kelleher said.
In a later incident, she returned to the same pharmacy and stole hair dye on April 15. She picked up two packets of the product and put one of them in her bag without offering payment.
When CCTV was shown to her she identified herself and said she got annoyed when she was accused of taking things.
She had seven previous theft convictions and came to the attention of gardaí since this incident for alleged possession of knives, Sgt. Kelleher said.
Alison McCarthy, barrister, appealed the severity of the five-month jail term at Cork Circuit Appeals Court and said of the 21-year-old: “She is very young. The reason she got involved in these thefts was that she fell in with a bad crowd from Kilkenny. She is no longer with that crowd.”
The barrister asked for the sentence to be suspended or for it to be replaced with a community service order.
Ms McCarthy said the young woman had a crucial role in minding her elderly mother.
Judge Helen Boyle said at the appeal: “There are two issues that are glaring: She has offered no compensation and there is not a scintilla of an apology. She obviously has not focused her mind at all on any of these offences. If something steals something they have to make restitution.”
The judge adjourned the appeal until March 23 and told the appellant to pay the pharmacy back for what she had stolen and to write a letter of apology to the member of staff who was verbally abused.
Judge Boyle said she was not making any promise on the outcome of the appeal but said that compensation and an apology were basic matters that needed to be attended to before the appeal could be even considered.