Sunday 24 June 2018

Almost nine months pregnant woman who was jailed for a year has now been freed

Ancutu Rostas outside the Four Courts
Ancutu Rostas outside the Four Courts

Saurya Cherfi & Ray Managh

An almost nine months pregnant Romanian woman, who was jailed for a year after being convicted of theft and begging, has been freed today by the High Court following claims that she was unlawfully detained in Mountjoy Women’s Prison.

Barrister Keith Spencer told the court that following an Article 40 inquiry into the legality of the detention of his client, Ancutu Rostas, the parties had agreed to her release.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna ordered Ms Rostas to be released immediately from custody.  

Mr Spencer had told the court that Ms Rostas, with an address in McDermot Road, Waterford , had been released on bail last Thursday pending the inquiry.

When the case came before the court last week, Mr Spencer said Ms Rostas had been convicted of the theft of make-up and had been given two six months consecutive sentences which had been suspended at Waterford District Court.

She had later been convicted at Tipperary District Court in relation to a begging offence and had been fined.  When the suspended sentences had been drawn to the District Court judge’s attention he activated the 12 months imprisonment.

Mr Spencer had told the court that Ms Rostas had appealed the sentencing to the Circuit Court but, due to a change of her address, had not been alerted to the date of her appeal.  He said her appeal had been struck out and the District Court sentences activated again.

He had told the court that Ms Rostas was currently incarcerated in  Mountjoy Women’s Prison with only a few weeks to go until the birth of her child. He had outlined a number of points to the court on which he said Ms Rostas would be challenging her detention.

The inquiry into her detention had been adjourned until today to allow the State to consider the case.

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