A DISTRICT court judge told a Limerick grandmother that it took some ‘neck to brazen it out’ and tell people in four different shops in Clonakilty that they short changed her.
Judge James McNulty made the comment at Clonakilty District Court when dealing with the case of 47-year-old Catherine Atkinson who pleaded guilty to four deception charges arising out of incidents in the town on August 25th last.
Det Gda James Keane gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution, and told the court that the defendant with an address at 93 Templegreen, Newcastle West, Limerick replied ‘I didn’t come down to do it and I’m sorry’.
The court heard that on August 25th last she entered Auntie Nellie’s Sweet Shop on Ashe Street and handed the shop assistant €5 for items but then said she handed in €20, confusing the shop assistant who gave her back the change of €20.
Within half an hour the defendant visited the nearby Happy Go Lucky toy shop, and insisted she gave the shop assistant €20 when it was in fact €5. This continued at Walsh’s Londis supermarket on Pearse Street where she said she tendered €20, when it was €5.
She continued to the Coisir Shop and carried out the same deception there.
The court heard the defendant has 48 previous convictions including 18 for theft and 17 for public order offences.
Defence solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client was down on holidays with her grandkids on the day of the offences.
He said she is on disability and suffers from anxiety.
‘She is of limited means and does voluntary work in a charity shop for four hours, three days a week and she clearly has a significant history of previous convictions,’ said Mr Murphy.
Judge McNulty said that the defendant is ‘no stranger to stealing’ and was involved in ‘determined theft.’
‘It takes some neck to brazen it out and tell people in four different shops that they short changed her and if the grandkids were with her during this then it is appalling,’ said Judge McNulty.
He said that she did it not once but four times and that fines or community service would not be appropriate and sentenced her to six months in prison on each charge with the sentences to be served concurrently and refused to suspend the sentences.
‘There was nothing wrong with her health in August when she brazenly told shop assistants they wronged her.’
Judge McNulty said it would be unwise for the defendant to return to West Cork in the future.