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Grandmother who stole vodka, steak and flowers has struggled since death of husband and grandson, court told

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The judge ordered Mary Joyce (52) to pay €350 compensation to the shopowner within six months.

The judge ordered Mary Joyce (52) to pay €350 compensation to the shopowner within six months.

The judge ordered Mary Joyce (52) to pay €350 compensation to the shopowner within six months.

A Grandmother who stole vodka, steak, and flowers for a grave has struggled greatly in the last few years, following the death of her husband and her three-year-old grandson, a court heard.

Mary Joyce (52) lost her husband four years ago when he killed himself while in custody. Three of her sons were in custody at the time of his death, her solicitor said.

Judge Paul Kelly imposed a two-month sentence which he suspended for 12 months. The judge also ordered Joyce to pay €350 compensation to the shopowner within six months.

The defendant, with an address at Kilshane Drive in Finglas, admitted stealing five bottles of vodka, packs of steak and a potted plant for a grave, all valued at €342 at Supervalu, Drogheda Street in Balbriggan on June 17, 2021.

Garda John Lennon told Swords District Court that Joyce went into the shop and placed five bottles of vodka and a number of packs of steak into a bag, and walked out of the shop without paying for the goods.

Joyce also picked up a potted plant for a grave, which was at the door.

Gda Lennon said none of the items were recovered, and Joyce was identified as the culprit from CCTV footage.

Gda Lennon also said that Joyce was in the company of two others, who have not been identified, and she was under the influence at the time.

The court heard that Joyce had 27 previous convictions.

Defence solicitor John O’Doherty said Joyce had a large family, and a number of children, and the family was a very tight-knit family.

However, Joyce has had an incredibly difficult few years and has been struggling to keep her family together, and to hold everything together for them.

Mr O’Doherty said the defendant’s husband killed himself in custody four years ago. Three of her sons were in custody at the same time as their father.

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The solicitor said Joyce tragically lost her three-year-old grandson after he was hit by a car.

As a result of these losses, Joyce “spiralled out of control”, Mr O’Doherty said, adding that this incident took place when the defendant was struggling the most.

The court heard that Joyce, who was on social welfare, had a lot of medical problems.

Mr O’Doherty also said that Joyce wished to repay the shop for the items she stole.


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