A woman charged with stealing from local shops who failed to turn up in court has been given the benefit of the probation act having engaged with treatment for her drug addiction.
Amy Lawlor, Midlands Simon Community, Tullamore, was charged with three counts of theft from Portlaoise stores on June 14 this year, and drug possession at Portlaoise Garda Station on the same date.
When the case first came before the court in July, Inspector Stephen O’Sullivan said the accused had one previous conviction.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the accused developed an over-reliance on drugs at the age of 18, but she is now linked in with Merchants Quay and on a methadone programme.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that all the stolen goods were recovered.
The matter was adjourned to October 3 for a probation report, but the accused failed to turn up up on that date and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
At last week’s court, Ms Fitzpatrick said there had been an issue over the accused’s address, but she was willing to cooperate.
Defence handed in three letters to the court, including one from Merchants Quay.
Judge Catherine Staines asked did the accused feel she was getting enough support from the Simon Community and Merchants Quay, to which Ms Fitzpatrick replied that the accused would take whatever support was available to her.
Judge Staines noted the accused had no previous convictions, had stolen small amounts of property which was recovered, had now stablised and was hoping to get involved in training and employment.
Saying she would give the accused an opportunity, Judge Staines applied the probation act, section 1.1.
“Don’t throw away this opportunity you’ve been given,” Judge Staines said.