Legal aid for woman who stole €35,000+

A Stradbally woman charged with stealing over €35,000 from people she was supposed to be caring for was given free legal aid at last week’s sitting of the Portlaoise District Court.

A Stradbally woman charged with stealing over €35,000 from people she was supposed to be caring for was given free legal aid at last week’s sitting of the Portlaoise District Court.

Ann Buggy, 9 Droimnin, Stradbally, was charged with 55 counts of theft, at St Joseph’s, Mooreabbey, Monasterevin.

When she first appeared in court on September 18, Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that the alleged offences occurred between 2010 and 2012, with Buggy stealing over €35,000 from the bank accounts of a number of women under her care.

Judge Catherine Staines said she would reserve the issue of jurisdiction and the case was put back to October 16. The issue of legal aid was also deferred to that date, with defence to submit a statement of means for Buggy.

When the case returned last week, defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client wished to enter a guilty plea in the district court, but more time was requested for defence to prepare mitigation.

Ms Fitzpatrick also handed in a statement of means for Buggy, ascertaining the value of the family house. Ms Fitzpatrick said that Buggy’s daughter lives in the family home and has responsibility for the mortgage of €43,000. Defence said that Buggy is in council accommodation and “will never enjoy the benefit” of the family home.

Judge Staines assigned legal aid to Ms Fitzpatrick, and the matter was put back to November 6 for the plea in mitigation.