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gran theft Grandmother caught stealing Christmas presents for family jailed

Gwen Doherty (44) fell back into a drug habit during the Covid lockdown and was introduced to crack cocaine before she took the gifts from a Cabra supermarket, a court heard.

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A GRANDMOTHER who stole Christmas presents for her children and grandchildren has been given a four-month prison sentence.

Gwen Doherty (44) fell back into a drug habit during the Covid lockdown and was introduced to crack cocaine before she took the gifts from a Cabra supermarket, a court heard.

Judge Bryan Smyth imposed sentence but backdated it to the day she went into custody.

Doherty, a mother-of-four and grandmother-of-two with an address at Rory O’Connor House in the north inner city, pleaded guilty to theft when she appeared before Dublin District Court.

The court heard Doherty stole €509 worth of gifts, food, clothing and cosmetics from Tesco on Navan Road, Cabra, last December 3.

She left the store without paying for the goods, which were recovered when she was stopped.

Separately, Doherty took €112 worth of groceries from Lidl on Moore Street last August 14.

Again, she was stopped as she left and all the goods were recovered in a saleable condition.

Doherty also admitted giving gardaí false details when she was arrested and failing to appear in court on another date.

The accused, who had 49 previous convictions, had struggled with addiction for two decades, the court heard.

Doherty had previously worked in a sewing factory and at a hotel but had not worked in recent years, her solicitor Matthew De Courcy said.

She was supporting her family on “very little means” and was spending her social welfare on her children.

She had shoplifted to support her addiction, and on the day of the Tesco theft she had stolen Christmas presents for her children and grandchildren, the court heard.

Doherty realised this was “unacceptable behaviour”, Mr De Courcy added.

The accused had fallen into old habits during lockdown and was introduced to crack cocaine, he also said.

Doherty, who had the support of her partner, had been in custody for two weeks before her court appearance, the court heard.

Mr De Courcy asked the judge to be as lenient as he could in the circumstances.

Judge Smyth imposed a four-month sentence and backdated it to the day Doherty entered custody.


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