Inquiry into detention of almost nine months pregnant woman
An almost nine months pregnant Romanian woman, convicted of theft and begging and jailed for a year, was released on bail pending an inquiry into the legality of her detention.
Barrister Keith Spencer, counsel for Ancutu Rostas with an address in McDermot Road, Waterford, told the High Court she had been convicted of the theft of make-up.
She had been given two six-month consecutive sentences which had been suspended at Waterford District Court.
He said she had later been convicted at Tipperary District Court with regard 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 told Ms Justice Marie Baker that 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.
He told the court that Rostas was currently held in Mountjoy Women's Prison with only a few weeks to go until the birth of her child.
He outlined a number of points to the court on which he said Rostas would be challenging her detention.
Judge Baker said Mr Spencer had put before the court strong grounds for the ordering of an Article 40 inquiry and she directed that Rostas be brought to court by the prison authorities.
Judge Baker was told the State solicitor required time to consider the case and would not be opposing a bail application.
Rostas was released and the inquiry into her detention adjourned until Monday.