A WOMAN who went on a thieving spree at a Dublin shopping centre has been warned she is on the "threshold" of going into custody if she steals again.
Judge David McHugh warned Nicola Garland that the only way to "deter a person from repeating offences is to send them to prison".
Garland (35), who has one previous conviction for theft, pleaded guilty at Blanchardstown District Court to stealing stationery worth €71 from Easons' store at Liffey Valley last January 19.
She further pleaded guilty to the theft of a mobile phone cover worth €25 from RU Mobile in the same shopping centre on the same day.
Gda Eoin O'Flaherty gave evidence that he was called to the shopping centre at 12.45pm as security staff had observed Garland, of Rossmore Avenue, Ballyfermot, stealing the items.
The court heard the 35-year-old is a single mother of two young children and is currently unemployed.
Judge McHugh handed down a conviction and fined her €20 for each of the theft offences, warning "the only effective way to deter a person from committing offences on a repeat basis is to send them to prison". "There is no other logical or just way to protect shop owners."