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Killer told to go to rehab or return to prison

Two years of the sentence were suspended on the condition she engage with addiction rehabilitation and educational courses provided by the probation services
Two years of the sentence were suspended on the condition she engage with addiction rehabilitation and educational courses provided by the probation services

A woman who served a jail sentence for killing a 60-year-old man was told she must quit drinking and engage with probation services or go back to prison.

Johanna Kelly (42), with addresses in Waterford and Gorey, Co Wexford, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Patrick O'Brien and was sentenced in December 2013.

Two years of the sentence were suspended on the condition she engage with addiction rehabilitation and educational courses provided by the probation services. The Central Criminal court heard today that since her release earlier this year, Ms Kelly has missed appointments with probation services and failed to attend rehab. Wexford based probation officer Catherine Lambert gave evidence that Ms Kelly failed to make one of her appointments in September because she could not get out of bed after drinking too much.

Ms Lambert said she had called to a house in Gorey where Ms Kelly was living and saw evidence other people were drinking. She told Ms Kelly that this environment would not help her overcome her addiction problems. She said Ms Kelly was then given an appointment at Cluain Mhuire Addiction Treatment Centre for November 9 but she did not attend.

Ms Lambert said that Ms Kelly must show greater motivation to give up alcohol.

Waterford probation officer Mary Murphy said she had also worked with Ms Kelly and was concerned about her drinking. She said that alcohol had been a factor in the assault which led to the death of Mr O'Brien and added, "little has changed". 

She told Justice Patrick McCarthy that social services enrolled Ms Kelly in a hairdressing course as part of her rehabilitation but she did not attend.

Justice McCarthy adjourned the case until January 11, telling Ms Kelly that she must call Cluain Mhuire every day in an attempt to gain entry for rehabilitation. He told her that she must not drink in the interim and that if she failed to comply she would be sent back to prison to serve the suspended two-year sentence.

He told her that if she is accepted at Cluain Mhuire she need not attend court on January 11 but she must remain at the addiction treatment centre.