Medication may have affected mum's behaviour — (Fingal Independent)

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Fingal Independent

Wednesday August 03 2011

A MOTHER-OF-FIVE who stole clothing and candles from three different Swords stores on the same day whilst on medication, which may have affected her behaviour, has been fined € 350.

Jennifer Brennan, Edenmore Gardens, Raheny, appeared before Judge Patrick Brady at Swords District Court last week. Brennan, who is 30, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft following a number of incidents in Swords on July 1st this year.

The defendant had stolen clothing worth € 41.50 from Penneys in Swords Central, clothing worth €47 from H&M in Swords’ Pavilions and Yankee candles worth € 86 from Eason’s, in the same shopping centre.

Sgt Edward Kelly had earlier told the court he had evidence of the defendant’s arrest, charge and caution by certificate, adding the Director of Public Prosecutions had recommended disposing of the charges summarily.

Judge Brady accepted jurisdiction after hearing the property had been recovered and Brennan elected to have her case heard in Swords Courthouse.

Her solicitor made an application for legal aid, noting his client was not receiving social welfare, but had applied for lone parents’ allowance and the case and application were adjourned for a week.

Last week, Sgt Kelly told the court Brennan was not ‘ at risk’ of serving a sentence or community service if convicted and the legal aid application was refused.

The court heard the defendant had accrued four previous convictions for road traffic and public order offences, before her solicitor explained she was a mother to five children.

She was suffering from depression and was on medication,’ the solicitor said, handing in a letter from medical authorities explaining the circumstances.

‘ It may have affected her behaviour and memory. Her medication has since been changed. She hasn’t worked in six years because of a blood pressure condition.

‘ She had applied to the HSE for assistance. She had no previous for theft.’

Judge Brady fined Brennan € 350 and gave her four months to pay, taking two of the three theft charges into consideration.

‘ If she’s finding it difficult, she should approach the local St Vincent de Paul,’ the judge added, noting the courts had regularly sent contributions to the organisation through payments for public order offences, which he added had declined in recent times.