A woman charged with her 20th shoplifting or theft offence now has a chance of getting a job in a shop, Portlaoise District Court has heard.
“I’m hoping this is another isolated incident,” said Judge Catherine Staines, imposing the probation act on Patrycja Bruszniewska (30), with an address listed at 49 Woodgrove, Ballyfin Road, Portlaoise.
The accused was charged with theft, from Dunnes Stores, Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise, on June 27 this year.
Inspector Ollie Baker gave evidence at last week's court that the accused passed all points of payment and left the store without paying for certain items.
She had 19 previous convictions, all under the theft act, the most recent of which was imposed in Portlaoise District Court last October, for which she received community service.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick acknowledged that her client was very much at risk of going to prison.
In relation to the offence, defence said that the accused’s parents had returned to Poland to deal with a death and the accused ran out of funds in their absence, so she turned to a friend for assistance.
However, her friend then asked her to obtain clothes for her and she was put under pressure, acceding to that pressure.
Ms Fitzpatrick said her client had apologised to the shop and was now not allowed into either Dunnes Stores in the town.
The accused also had €100 compensation in court and a letter of apology.
Defence asked the court not to impose a prison sentence as the accused had a job interview that day for a job working in a shop.
“She has an appalling record,” admitted Ms Fitzpatrick.
Judge Catherine Staines noted that the clothing, valued at €33, had been recovered and the accused had stayed out of trouble for some six months since her last offence.
“I’m hoping this is another isolated incident,” said Judge Staines, adding that the accused had a chance of getting a job.
Directing the accused to donate €100 to the Simon Community in Portlaoise, Judge Staines applied the probation act, section 1.2.