A WOMAN convicted of theft for a fourth time has been warned that a further conviction will result in her going to jail.
Margaret Devonshire of Beechfield Estate, Fermoy did little to endear herself to Judge Brian Sheridan by turning up late for her hearing at the local district court.
When her case was called for a second time, the judge remanded her in custody over lunch, remarking "she left me waiting, I will keep her waiting".
Inspector Tony O'Sullivan told the court that 37-year-old Devonshire had five previous convictions, including three for theft, one for forging prescriptions and one for a public order offence, all of which were alcohol related.
Having considered probation and medical reports given to him by Devonshire's solicitor, Jerry Healy, Judge Sheridan returned after the lunch break in bullish form.
He was told that Devonshire had stolen cans of Guinness and cider from the Centra shop on Patrick Street in Fermoy on August 29 last.
Inspector O'Sullivan said she had stolen the cans to feed her alcohol addiction and that compensation had been paid for the stolen items.
Replying to a comment from the judge that Devonshire seemed to reoffend every 12-14 months, the inspector said "she goes well for a while but then seems to go off the rails."
Mr Healy admitted there had been what he described as "a pattern of repetition" but explained that she is normally caught before she even gets home.
"She does manage most of the time to keep on a level but once every year or so things come to a head. The value in each of the theft incidents was less than €25," he added.
Mr Healy said that, regrettably, his client's health had taken a turn for the worse in that she is receiving treatment for cirrhosis of the liver and pancreas.
Judge Sheridan warned Devonshire that she could not continue with this lifestyle and expect to get away with it.
"Those days are over, this is the end of it," he said.
Imposing a six month jail term, which he suspended for two years, Judge Sheridan told Devonshire she should avail of in-house treatment for her alcohol problem.
"Otherwise, you will be going elsewhere for in-house treatment ... and that is one place where you won't have access to alcohol," he warned.