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Mum jailed for lying about child's kidnap

A mother of three who made a false report to gardai that an innocent man had tried to abduct her toddler has been given a three-year sentence.

The 26-year-old woman, who was a chronic drug addict, gave a description of a man to gardai and later pointed the victim out to them.

Gardai arrested the man and held him in custody for 18 hours for questioning about the supposed abduction. Specialist interviewers also questioned the woman's child.

CCTV footage showed conclusively that there was no contact between the accused and the man.

After being arrested on suspicion of making the false allegation, the woman admitted everything. Gardai had spent 158 hours on the investigation.

She told gardai she had done it to get back at her mother, who had custody of her children.

The woman, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the child, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making a false statement to gardai on August 13, 2012.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said the woman had no regard for the man's innocence and little regard for her own child who was also the subject of garda interview.

She described her actions as "shocking" and said she had taken away the man's good name and put him at risk of a prison sentence.

She imposed a three-year sentence and suspended the final 12 months on conditions.

Gda Stephen Mullen told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that officers responded after the woman's mother contacted gardai to say that a man had tried to abduct her granddaughter.

Sandra Frayne BL, defending, said her client became addicted to drugs four years ago and has since lived in various hostels. Her mother minds her three children and she gets to see them every now and again.


"She is finding it very difficult to stabilise her life and accepts she has problems. She is struggling and is extremely sorry and ashamed," counsel said.

She submitted that the woman has "cleaned up her act" and has been doing quite well in custody apart from being on methadone.

She said that the woman, who has 20 previous convictions, had not come to the attention of the gardai until her "horrific heroin addiction" started four years ago.