‘I don’t know what skills you want him to grow up with but I would not have thought that shoplifting would be on that list’, the judge said
Craigavon Magistrates Court heard that while Janete Teixeira claimed she “just couldn’t say no” to her 15-year-old as he put items into the Tesco trolley, District Judge Bernie Kelly was scathing in her criticism of the 43-year-old who has “an atrocious record for theft.”
Outlining that the defendant has been jailed in the past but freed on appeal only to commit further offences on both sides of the border, the judge told her “you have not had to pay for a single theft in how many years?”
“What makes this case worse than your average is that you used your 15-year-old son.
“I don’t know what skills you want him to grow up with but I would not have thought that shoplifting would be on that list,” declared the judge.
Teixeira, from Inglewood Lodge in Portadown, had earlier entered a guilty plea to a single count of theft of groceries worth £94 from Tesco on 4 April last year.
The court heard that Teixeira, knowing the trolley was filled with items to be paid for, went to get “two bottles of wine and a bunch of flowers,” allowing her son to push the trolley out of the supermarket.
DJ Kelly told Teixeira that using her son in the theft “is a serious aggravating factor.”
“That’s not the case,” claimed Teixeira, standing in the public gallery of the court.
“Oh I know that, I’m not that stupid,” replied the judge, “but he was still the one who pushed the trolley out and you left him to leave the store with that unpaid for trolley of groceries.
Defence solicitor Joe McDonald said Teixeira had been “struggling financially” at the time but “bitterly regrets her actions” and had brought restitution to pay for the stolen groceries.
Dismissing that however the judge retorted that “if she wanted to pay for them she’d have done it long ago.”
Imposing the six month sentence, DJ Kelly asked rhetorically and sceptically “how great would that be, what would that do to your weekly budget, weekly groceries and not having to pay for anything.”
Teixeira was taken to the cells but around 40 minutes later, Mr McDonald applied for the thief to be freed on bail pending appeal, stressing that “she will lose her home and her job” if not freed.
“That didn’t stop her, she had the job and the home at the time and that didn’t stop her,” said the judge.
“My problem with Miss Teixeira is that we know she goes shopping without money and somewhere between now and the appeal, she will have to shop because at the very least she will need food.”
Granting £500 bail but barring Teixeira from “entering any premises that sell retail to the public,” the Judge warned Teixeira if she breached the bail, committed further offences or appeared before her again for any reason, “you will definitely not be getting bail from me again.”
“Is that clear, you will be in prison so think about that the next time you take a notion of taking stuff you won’t pay for - your children will be left without a mother so that will demonstrate how much you care about them,” the judge told her.