17 Aug 2022

Woman fined for stealing from Smyths Toys Superstores

A 37-year-old woman was fined for stealing €365 worth of goods from a toy shop.

Winnie Hegarty of 6A Ard Clogher, Carndonagh was before Donegal District Court on Monday.

She pleaded guilty to theft of two Sentinel drones valued at €299.98, a unicorn toy priced at €29.99 and another toy valued at €34.99. The offences took place at Smyths Toys Superstores, Carraroe Retail Park, Sligo.

Inspector Denis Joyce told the court that the defendant had asked a shop assistant to take the two drones from the shelf. She then left the shop without paying. Thanks to an alert via a local business group, it was established that the defendant was in Sligo town centre. She was subsequently arrested and admitted the offences.

The court heard that the offences were committed while the defendant was on bail.

She had 28 previous convictions. Most of these were for driving offences, with one conviction for theft in Northern Ireland.

Defence solicitor Rory O’Brien outlined what he described as a ‘complicated background.’

The defendant suffered from substance addiction, was separated from her husband and had been in another volatile relationship.

“She has been doing her best over the last number of years,” said Mr O’Brien. 

He said the thefts had been with the intention of providing gifts for her children.

Judge Kevin Kilrane acknowledged the mitigating circumstances. However, he said the value of goods stolen was significant and the items could not be classed as essential materials.

He imposed a conviction and a €200 fine. 

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