A CARLOW woman who had 136 previous convictions for theft was given a ten-month prison sentence at Carlow District Court last week.
Rhiannon Keating (35) of St Killian’s Crescent, Carlow pleaded guilty to handling stolen property, theft and public order charges at Wednesday’s sitting of Carlow District Court.
Garda Mathew Willoughby said the defendant was found “extremely intoxicated” at the car park of Carlow Town Hall on 30 August last.
“She was very unsteady on her feet, was slurring her words,” he said.
A search at Carlow Garda Station later revealed a wallet on Ms Keating, which had been taken from a vehicle.
The defendant was also charged with theft of €5 in cash, taken from the counter of Milano’s Takeaway in Carlow town on the same date.
Ms Keating also faced four theft offences from Aldi in Graiguecullen on 21, 22, 23 and 30 August last.
On each occasion, she stole a bottle of vodka worth between €21-27.
Ms Keating had 162 previous convictions, including 136 for theft.
Following a query by Judge Geraldine Carthy, the court was told the defendant was on bail granted in the High Court at the time of the most recent offences.
Defending solicitor Brendan O’Flaherty said the Milano’s theft was at a “very low” level.
“She handed in €3 and took €5,” he said.
Speaking of the other offences, Mr O’Flaherty said his client’s recollection was a “lot less than to be desired.”
He said the offences were committed in broad daylight with little thought.
“This was not done with calculatedness or badness. The source of her problem is addiction.”
Mr O’Flaherty said the defendant had “not given up on herself in getting treatment.”
“She accepts she should go to Cuan Mhuire,” he said.
The court was told it had been considered the defendant just go to the rehabilitation centre and ‘sit there’ to see if she’d be taken in.
Mr O’Flaherty said his client’ issue was lack of structure in her “post-release programme,” although she did have the support of her family.
Mr O’Flaherty noted his client had circuit court matters and a number of district court appeals lodged.
Judge Carthy said the previous convictions were “quite stark.”
“It’s fair to say I am very familiar with Ms Keating with matters before the court.”
Judge Carthy said she had to consider the recidivist nature of the offending and its impact on society.
Judge Carthy recorded convictions on all matters. The judge imposed a five-month sentence on one of the Aldi thefts and a five-month consecutive sentence on handling stolen property.
A book of evidence was served on the defendant by garda Liam Lawlor in relation to the burglary of Carlow District Hospital on 13 June last and theft from Caredoc, Athy Road and Daybreak store at Oakview on the same date.
Ms Keating will next appear on these charges at the November sitting of Carlow Circuit Court.