A YOUNG mother caught stealing over €300 worth of clothes was taking them for her young child because she was struggling financially.
Sinead Kennedy (21) was stopped by security staff as she was walking out of a shopping centre with the children's clothing.
Kennedy, of Ballyfermot Drive, Ballyfermot, admitted to a charge of theft at Blanchardstown District Court.
Garda Sergeant Walter Sweeney said staff stopped Kennedy as she was leaving Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on April 18.
Sgt Sweeney said Kennedy had walked out of Marks & Spencer with €363 worth of children's clothing.
The sergeant said Kennedy was with another woman when she took the clothing.
The court heard that Kennedy has no previous convictions.
Defence lawyer Ann Sheridan said Kennedy is a single mother with a three-year-old child.
Ms Sheridan said Kennedy, who is unemployed and on social welfare, is under a lot of financial pressure is finding it hard to survive on social welfare.
Ms Sheridan said the defendant took the clothing for her child.
She asked the judge to leave her client without a conviction, saying she was willing to make a contribution to charity.
Judge David McHugh refused to leave Kennedy without a conviction and he fined her €50.