Saturday 18 November 2017

Female shoplifter hid clippers in her underwear to fend off bullies

Cher Quinn
Cher Quinn

Andrew Phelan

A shoplifter who had a pair of clippers to protect herself against "bullies" when searched by gardai has avoided jail.

Cher Quinn (40) had the clippers hidden in her underwear because she was being "picked on" at the time, a court heard.

She was put on a one-year probation bond when she appeared at Dublin District Court.

Quinn, from a hostel on Morning Star Avenue, pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a weapon.

The court was told Quinn went to Lidl on Moore Street on September 21 last year and stole €19.99 worth of clothing.

She passed all points of payment and was stopped by security. Gardai were called to the shop where they arrested her.

The property was recovered intact and returned to the shop.

Quinn was searched when arrested and found to have a pair of sharply-pointed clippers concealed in her underwear.

"She said it was in case anybody comes at me, and that they were bullying her in Ballymun," a garda told the court.

Harm

"I asked her if she had it for her own protection and she said yes."

Quinn signed the garda's notebook and made full admissions.

The case was adjourned and Judge Bryan Smyth initially said he was considering a community service order instead of a prison sentence.

However, when the case came back before the court he put Quinn on a probation bond and her solicitor Tony Collier said she understood the conditions as set out.

Quinn did not address the court during the brief hearing.

Previously, the court heard Quinn was a "vulnerable type of lady" who had been a victim of bullying over the years.

She was originally from the Ballymun area and had been homeless for some time.

Her life became "quite unmanageable".

"She is being picked on and feels the need to protect herself. I'm not sure what harm (the implement) could have done in any event," Mr Collier had said.

Quinn apologised for the offences and asked the judge to be as lenient as he could in the circumstances, Mr Collier added.

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