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Struggle with bills led mum to steal

A MOTHER-of-two who is struggling to pay all her bills "gave into temptation" and stole nearly €500 worth of clothing, a court heard.

Niamh Steenson (28) hit the same shop twice in two days, but she was stopped by security staff on the second occasion as she left without paying for the goods.

A judge ordered her to pay compensation to the shop and said she would leave her without a conviction.

The defendant, with an address at Sallynoggin Park, Sallynoggin, admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to two counts of theft.

Both incidents took place in 53 Degrees North, The Park, Carrickmines, on dates in May 2009. Sergeant Peadar McCann said Steenson entered the store on May 19 last year and stole clothing to the value of €110.

Sgt McCann said the defendant returned to the store the following day and stole two tops and two pairs of jeans, valued at €370.

The sergeant said Steenson went into the changing room, and put the clothes into a bag. She was stopped as she left the store and the clothing was recovered.

The items taken in the first theft have not been recovered.

The court heard that she has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Ronnie Lynam said Steenson has two young children, and her means are very limited.

She is not working and is struggling to survive on her social welfare. Mr Lynam said that Steenson gave into temptation, and she very much regrets her behaviour.

The court heard the defendant is on a detox programme and is receiving counselling from a drug treatment centre in Bray.

Judge Ann Ryan said some of the clothing has not been recovered. The judge ordered Steenson to pay the shop €110 compensation and adjourned the matter for two months.