A woman who stole a bottle of brandy because she wanted something nice for herself for Christmas has been given a suspended sentence after she failed to complete community service.
In March of this year, Carmen Rostas (29), Cosby Avenue, Fairgreen, Portlaoise, was convicted of theft, from Tesco, Portlaoise, on December 24, 2017.
When she first appeared before the district court in February last, the court heard the accused stole a bottle of brandy.
Sgt JJ Kirby told the district court that the accused had eight previous convictions, three for theft.
Defence, Ms Thomasina Connell said her client, a mother of three, wanted something nice for herself for Christmas and took an opportunity.
The accused, a Romanian national, came to Ireland in 2004 and was on social welfare. She was trying to do the best she could and it was Christmas Eve, said Ms Connell.
Remarked Judge Catherine Staines: “I would understand if she took toys or food for the children, but a bottle of brandy?”
The judge imposed 80 hours’ community service in lieu of three months in prison.
However, an issue then arose over the accused’s ability to do community service as she looks after her children.
Despite this, Judge Staines reaffirmed her order of 80 hours’ community service and warned the accused that if she did not do it, she could face three months in prison.
At last week’s court, the accused was brought before Judge Staines for breaching the community service order.
Probation officer Ms Ann Walsh gave evidence that the accused did attend with probation several times, but her husband is now in prison and she has no one to mind her children.
Judge Staines imposed three months in prison, suspended for one year on a bond of €100.