Fined | 

Woman caught with pepper spray says she picked it up 'out of concern' for children

Christina Brennan (43) had forgotten to take the canister out of her bag, her defence said

Christina Brennan forgot she had spray in her bag, court heard

Andrew Phelan

A woman caught carrying a can of pepper spray in her handbag had found it in an area frequented by young children and picked it up out of concern, a court heard.

Christina Brennan (43) did not intend to use the spray for self defence and had forgotten to take the canister out of her bag, her defence said.

Judge Bryan Smyth fined her €250 at Dublin District Court.

Brennan, of Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon.

Garda Sergeant Maire McDevitt said when gardaí encountered the accused at Wolfe Tone Square at 3.40pm on May 17, 2020, they searched her and found pepper spray in her handbag.

She made full admissions. The court heard the accused had previous convictions but nothing since 2015.

Brennan was "very annoyed with herself" for being back before the court, having stayed out of trouble for quite some time, her solicitor Philip Hannon said.

She found the can of pepper spray in an area "frequented by young children", picked it up, put it in her handbag and forgot about it.

A couple of days later, she was in the city centre and it was still in her bag.

"She wasn't using it for any kind of self defence or anything like that," Mr Hannon said.

Mr Hannon said he did not think it was likely that the accused would come before the court again.

He told the judge Brennan was not working and was in receipt of social welfare.

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