A woman who “suffers from kleptomania” has been sentenced to two months in prison for stealing items from a premises on Kilkenny’s High Street.
Sandra Fitzpatrick, with an address at 19 St Patrick’s Terrace, The Common, Ballingarry, Tipperary, entered a guilty plea to the Section 4 Theft offence which occurred on January 12 of this year.
Ms Fitzpatrick was observed on CCTV taking a number of items and placing them in a bag. They included a “Harry Potter cushion, a book set and a teddy bear”. The items she stole were valued at €79.35.
She was questioned by Gardaí in relation to the incident and the property was not recovered.
The court heard the defendant has a “large number of previous convictions with a total of 44, while 36 of these offences were for Section 4 Thefts.
Solicitor for Ms Fitzpatrick, Chris Hogan, said his client had been fully co-operative at all stages with Gardaí and had made a voluntary cautioned statement. He said the value of the items meant the offence was on the lower end of the scale.
Mr Hogan said his client had a huge number of previous convictions for theft and she was “not a professional shoplifter”. He said Ms Fitzpatrick “suffers from kleptomania” and has been receiving counselling on the matter.
The court heard Ms Fitzpatrick is a single mother and has three children. Mr Hogan described her as a “good mother” to her children.
Judge Colin Daly said the theft offence was on the lower to middle point of the scale and he took into account Ms Fitzpatrick’s early guilty plea.
However, he added that any mitigation was reduced by the “very high” number of previous convictions which included 36 for similar offences.
“Some of those were as recent as weeks before the charge at hand,” he said. Judge Daly handed down a three month sentence to Ms Fitzpatrick which he reduced to two months on account of her early guilty plea.
Mr Hogan asked for recognisance to be fixed in the event of an appeal, which Judge Daly granted.