Tuesday 20 August 2019

New mum let out of prison to visit her baby went shoplifting within hours, court hears

A new born baby’s feet (Andrew Matthews/PA)
A new born baby’s feet (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A NEW mum who was given temporary release from prison to visit her baby went shoplifting within hours of getting out of jail, a court heard.

Sylvia Hickey (23) also hurled abuse at nurses in a maternity hospital on the same day.

She had intended to go to visit her child at home but ended up being arrested and refused bail.

Judge John Hughes said what she did “flew in the face of justice” and jailed her for six months.

Hickey, of St Catherine’s Foyer, Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to theft and threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

Dublin District Court heard that on the morning of April 10, Hickey was given temporary release from a prison sentence at Mountjoy’s Dochas Centre, subject to conditions with which she had to comply.

That afternoon, she went to Brown Thomas on Grafton Street and stole cosmetics worth €147.

On the same day she went to Holles Street hospital and began hurling abuse at nurses over a medical diagnosis she was unhappy with.

The court heard Hickey had 27 prior convictions for theft, prescription forgery and other offences.

The birth of her first child in November had been a wake-up call for Hickey, her lawyer said.

She had been doing well in prison and was granted temporary release, intending to travel to her mother’s home to visit her child.

However, she had a drug addiction and suffered “lapses”.

Hickey was remorseful for what had happened and she had missed an opportunity to reconnect with her child.

She was “very embarrassed and distressed” to be in court, her lawyer said.

Judge Hughes said the accused had been unlawfully at large on the day as she broke the conditions of her release.

“I am amazed that somebody who was granted temporary release, with so much to look forward to, would go and commit offences of this nature on the very same day of her release,” Judge Hughes said.

He said he was satisfied Hickey was aware of the nature and terms of her release and what she did “flies in the face of justice”.

Hickey wept as the judge passed sentence.


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