A mobile phone shop in Portlaoise was one of five stores around the country from which a 43-year-old woman stole mobile phones, Portlaoise District Court heard.
Before the district court was Irene Mahon (43), Rossberry Lane, Lucan, Co. Dublin, charged with theft.
Garda Hearne gave evidence that on November 28, 2015, the accused went to the Three Store in Portlaoise where she entered into a contract for a mobile phone and paid a deposit.
She used a false driving licence as identification and used a false name. She subsequently failed to pay the bills for the phone and the phone was never recovered.
Garda Hearne said the accused had committed five separate offences of this nature, with four convictions from courts around the country including Blanchestown, Drogheda and Waterford.
He said the accused had cooperated fully and made full admissions. She has not come to garda attention since and had paid compensation on the earlier matters, but had not paid any compensation on this charge.
Defence for the accused said that Mahon had suffered tragic personal circumstances, with her husband left paralysed after an incident.
The accused was looking after him and trying to pay a mortgage, and she had also been gambling over a period of time.
Defence said that the accused is now attending counselling for her gambling problem.
Defence also said that a probation report on the accused placed her at a very low risk of reoffending. She has seen the error of her ways and will not reoffend again.
She is not gambling anymore and is paying off her debt, and is on disability allowance for a hearing impairment.
Defence concluded by saying the accused was very sorry and remorseful.
Judge Catherine Staines noted the accused had no previous convictions before this series of offending and had cooperated with the probation services.
Applying the probation act, Judge Staines warned the accused she could face imprisonment if she continued to act in this way.