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guilty plea Dublin woman with over 400 criminal convictions spared added jail time for drink-fuelled thefts

Denise McNulty, 43, with an address at a hostel at Ellis Quay, Dublin, pleaded guilty to stealing nine cans of beer and two bottles of vodka on three dates in March and April last year.

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AN “INSTITUTIONALISED” Dublin woman with more than 400 criminal convictions has been spared added jail time for drink-fuelled thefts.

Denise McNulty, 43, with an address at a hostel at Ellis Quay, Dublin, pleaded guilty to stealing nine cans of beer and two bottles of vodka on three dates in March and April last year.

Judge Flann Brennan heard at Dublin District Court that she already had 459 prior criminal convictions, and 228 of them were for theft. Her other offences were for criminal damage, public order charges, and trespassing.

In a mitigation plea, defence solicitor Colleen Gildernew said her client’s number of convictions told a story.

McNulty had not been able to stay of trouble since she was in her twenties and was “institutionalised at this stage”.

She was a model prisoner in the Dóchas centre in Mountjoy prison and has made great efforts, the solicitor said.

She had also gone through the Drugs Court but that approach broke down after a family bereavement.

She is currently serving a sentence for the next the year, the solicitor said, pleading with the judge not to add to her time in custody.

Judge Brennan said he could tell the difficulties McNulty had all her life by looking at her charges. She had a dreadful record but was obvious she had persistent addictions, he added.

He was impressed with her guilty plea and said he would not add to her current term in prison.

He imposed a six-month concurrent sentence.

Unless she dealt with her drink problem she would spend more of her life in jail. While she was a model prisoner the problem for society was when she gets out, he said.

“I’m trying to get treatment,” McNulty replied.

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