A CIRCUIT Court judge has given a homeless woman an opportunity to re-engage with the probation service.
Ray Hennessy, solicitor, appeared at Bantry Circuit Court on behalf of Louise Crowley, who was appealing against the severity of a number of District Court convictions.
In the District Court various prison sentences were handed down, including a 30-day term for a public order offence; a 60-day sentence for obstructing a peace officer; and six months for assaulting a woman on the Main Street of Dunmanway in September 2018.
Mr Hennessy told the Circuit Court judge that his client is now sober, is staying with a friend at Coach Road in Dunmanway; and is awaiting an appointment to see a psychologist.
He said she has ‘never before been sober when engaging with the probation service,’ but was willing to do so now to avoid being sent to jail.
The solicitor said all of her previous convictions were drink-related but there had been ‘a sea change’ in the last few months.
State solicitor Malachy Boohig acknowledged the change in the appellant’s circumstances, saying: ‘It is a case in which I would have had huge concerns before today.’
Judge O’Callaghan said: ‘The court will give her an opportunity to address certain issues before the matter is finalised.
‘But it is for her to engage with the probation services – she must make the phone call. If she fails to engage with the probation service, and comply with all the directions of the assigned probation officer, then this lady is most definitely looking at prison.’
The case was put back to Bantry Circuit Court on July 17th next.