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My big family needs forks -- cutlery thief tells judge

A THIEF described as a "prolific shoplifter" by a judge said she could not explain why she stole a large number of forks from a supermarket -- other than she came from a large family and they were in "constant need of forks".

Anne Carthy (27) said she was one of 13 siblings, and she was doing the family's weekly shopping at the time of the theft. She spent €300 on food, and she doesn't know why she took the forks.


A judge fined her €100, saying her lawyer's plea of mitigation would have more merit if she had not had a large number of previous convictions for theft.

Carthy, of Cushlawn Park in Tallaght, admitted before Tallaght District Court to stealing a set of forks, valued at €25, from a supermarket.

The incident took place at Dunnes Stores, The Square on December 30 last year.

Garda Karen Timmins said Carthy put the forks in a bag at the bottom of her trolley, and walked out of the shop without paying for them.

Defence solicitor Michael Hennessy said Carthy's theft made no sense, as she had money on her, and she had already bought groceries.

He said Carthy may have bad habits, due to her previous convictions, but she did not need to steal the cutlery. Mr Hennessy said Carthy was suffering from depression at the time, and this may have accounted for her behaviour.

He said Carthy was one of 13 siblings, and had 30 nieces and nephews. He also said that they were a very close family, and Carthy spent much of her time looking after children.

Judge James McDonnell fined Carthy €100.