A Dublin woman who used a stolen car to visit her sick son in hospital has been given a two-year suspended sentence.
Sinead Lennon (32) of Smithfield Gate, North King Street pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Court to possessing a stolen car in Glasnevin on January 29, 2010.
The court heart that over a week earlier a blue Citroen Saxo belonging to Yousuf Aydin was stolen in Dublin city.
Gda Elaine Condon told prosecuting counsel Fergal Foley BL that Mr Aydin had left his car running briefly while he went into a shop and that when he came out again the car was gone.
Nine days later, Mr Aydin spotted his car being driven along Dorset Street and followed it as far as the Botanic Gardens.
He alerted gardaí and Lennon, who had been driving the car, was stopped and arrested.
Lennon accepted that she had been driving the car but denied stealing it.
She claimed she had bought it from a man for €500 a few days earlier and that the number plates had been changed.
Lennon says she had become suspicious about the car the evening before her arrest when she noticed personal belongings in the boot, but that she decided to use it one last time to visit her son who was ill in hospital.
Lennon has 80 previous convictions, 24 of them for road traffic offences and 25 for theft. Other offences include fraud, forgery, public order and robbery.
Gda Condon told Martina Baxter BL, defending, that although Lennon has had a “difficult past” she has always been cooperative with gardaí and was a “pleasant, articulate and intelligent woman.”
The court heard that she has been addicted to head shop drugs and alcohol, but that she has made great strides towards her rehabilitation and is now down to 40mg of methadone a day.
Gda Condon said Lennon has very little access to her children who are in care.
She said there has been a “vast improvement” in Lennon's appearance and that she believes the accused is determined to change her ways.
Judge Patricia Ryan handed down a sentence of two years but suspended it for three years, on condition that Lennon keeps the peace, continues her drug and alcohol treatment and be supervised by the Probation Services.
The judge added that said she took into account Lennon's tragic family circumstances and her “trojan efforts” to rehabilitate herself.