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Clothes thief's 'moment of stupidity'

A WOMAN who went into a department store on Christmas Eve and stole over €200 worth of clothing has been given the benefit of the Probation Act.

Catriona McDonnell (24) had a "moment of stupidity" and stole the items after she had just come out of hospital where she was receiving treatment for kidney failure.

She became "very distressed" after she committed the theft, Blanchardstown District Court heard.

McDonnell, of Gardiner's Hill in Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to the theft of €206 worth of clothing from M&S at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on December 24.

Garda Leeann McDonagh told the court McDonnell walked into the department store at around 1.15pm and selected a number of clothing items. She then went past all points of payment and left the store without making an effort to pay for the items. Gda McDonagh said the items were recovered in a re-saleable condition. McDonnell has no previous convictions.


Defence solicitor Valerie Buckley said McDonnell is receiving treatment at Tallaght Hospital for kidney failure.

"She stole the items in what can only be described as a moment of stupidity", added Ms Buckley. "She is and was very distressed over the incident."

Judge McHugh said he would apply Section 1.1 of the Probation Act but warned McDonnell "not to make a habit" of stealing.