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unlawful possession Gran who carried screwdriver for safety after she was 'thrown into Liffey' given suspended sentence

Debbie Barry (43) was vulnerable while homeless and had fallen "prey" to other people before she was found in possession of the tool as a weapon.

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Debbie Barry, with an address at St Audoen's House, Dublin 8, charged with unlawful possession of a screwdriver.

Debbie Barry, with an address at St Audoen's House, Dublin 8, charged with unlawful possession of a screwdriver.

Debbie Barry, with an address at St Audoen's House, Dublin 8, charged with unlawful possession of a screwdriver.

A GRANDMOTHER caught carrying a screwdriver for her own safety was in fear after being assaulted and thrown into the River Liffey, a court has heard.

Debbie Barry (43) was vulnerable while homeless and had fallen "prey" to other people before she was found in possession of the tool as a weapon.

Judge Bryan Smyth gave her an eight-month suspended sentence at Dublin District Court.

Barry, a mother-of-two of St Audoen's House in the south inner city, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a screwdriver at Moore Street on February 8, 2020.

Barry had a "significant difficulty" with drugs and homelessness over the years, her solicitor Tony Collier said.

She was taking steps to deal with her problems but still found herself homeless and was "quite vulnerable on the streets".

When approached by gardaí, she said she had the screwdriver for her own safety.

The accused had been subjected to a number of assaults and in one incident, she was "thrown into the Liffey," Mr Collier said.

She was "prey to many people" and her state of mind was "desperate" at the time, he added.

The accused told the court she had found the screwdriver on a windowsill at a church and she put it in her bag.

She handed it over to gardaí, she told the judge, adding that she was "in fear for my life".

Barry was "doing very well now" on methadone, Mr Collier said.


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