Husband and wife stole for presents

Eimear Cotter

A COUPLE who stole hundreds of euro worth of clothing and cosmetics three days before Christmas were strapped for cash and planned to give the items as presents, a court heard.

John McCarthy (25) and his wife Bernadette Cawley (21) were caught by security staff putting cosmetics into a foil-lined bag in a pharmacy.

A court heard that Cawley had given birth to premature twin boys not long before the incident and was suffering from post-partum depression at the time.

Judge Anthony Halpin said he did not condone their behaviour but he could understand the pressure the couple were under coming up to Christmas. The judge ordered them to enter into peace bonds for one year.

McCarthy, of Hillcrest, Ardcath, Co Meath, admitted to stealing cosmetics, worth €593, from Boots in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on December 22 last year.

His wife also admitted to stealing the cosmetics from Boots as well as possession of a foil-lined bag.

Cawley further admitted to a number of counts of handling stolen property, including handling stolen clothing from Tommy Hilfiger, worth €298, Best Menswear, worth €89, Republic, worth €105 and from River Island and New Look, all in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.

All the property was recovered.


The court heard that McCarthy has 18 previous convictions, mostly for road traffic matters. Cawley has one road traffic conviction.

Defence solicitor Jeremiah Breen said the incident took place three days before Christmas and the couple were in financial difficulties.

Mr Breen said the defendants planned to give the goods as Christmas gifts. He said the couple are parents to twin boys, who were born six weeks premature, not long before the incident.

The court heard that McCarthy is an unemployed mechanic.