Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A CARLOW woman who was released from custody after lodging an appeal last Wednesday committed four thefts and was back in court within 24 hours.

Rhiannon Keating (35) of St Killian’s Crescent, Carlow committed four thefts from stores in Carlow town last Wednesday, 9 June, after lodging an appeal on a two-year partly-suspended prison sentence at the local district court on the same day.

Garda Aisling Dhuig gave evidence of four theft charges from shops in Carlow Shopping Centre, including Penneys, Claire’s Accessories and Sam McAuley’s Pharmacy at Thursday’s sitting of Carlow District Court. The value of the goods was close to €800 and the defendant had made full admissions to gardaí, the court was told. Ms Keating had 162 previous convictions.

Defending solicitor Brendan O’Flaherty told Judge Cephas Power his client was pleading at the first available opportunity.

“You’ll remember Ms Keating from yesterday, when you gave her a very good chance and opportunity,” said Mr O’Flaherty.

The court was told that Ms Keating had received a two-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended. The sentence was also to be backdated to May, when Ms Keating first went into custody.

“You structured a very fair sentence and she would have been out in four months,” said the solicitor.

Mr O’Flaherty said his client had not “expected that mercy” on Wednesday, with a family member dropping her personal items to the prison van. However, Ms Keating lodged an appeal and was released from custody.

Mr O’Flaherty said that when Ms Keating returned home, the house was empty and matters “exacerbated” when she met a friend who had vodka. “Her wherewithal and ability to think straight collapsed with that,” said Mr O’Flaherty.

The solicitor said his client had no current access to methadone and asked for that to be facilitated. He also said that his client had a “genuine desire” to get rehabilitation.

“She has missed a ready opportunity to try to get back into treatment and rehabilitation,” he said.

Judge Power said: “Much of what is being said today is repeated from yesterday. She was given a chance, but less than 24 hours after release she is back in court for a number of section 4 thefts.”

Judge Power imposed a six-month prison sentence on one of theft offences, taking the other offences into consideration. Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal, with no condition for a cash lodgment. Ms Keating lodged an appeal and was subsequently released from custody.

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