A serial female shoplifter mooned at staff of a convenience store in Castlebar and bullied and abused them as she and others robbed goods from the shop.
In a statement read out at last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court the manager of Casey’s Centra in Castlebar said he and his staff were at their ‘wits end’ and were afraid of Ann McDonagh and her friends when they enter the shop.
Ms McDonagh (27) of 27 Castlegrove, Castlebar was sentenced to five months imprisonment for the theft of €46.30 worth of groceries from Casey’s Centra on September 17 last and on August 7 stole two sports jerseys worth €113 from Elvery’s Sports on Bridge Street, Castlebar.
The court heard that three females including Ms McDonagh entered the Centra store and concealed the items in their clothing and left without paying. Ms McDonagh has a number of previous convictions, the vast majority for theft and has served custodial sentences in the past.
Inspector Joe Doherty read a statement from Aiden Heneghan, the manager of Casey’s Centra, who said the three women are constantly coming into the store despite being barred and are not afraid of the gardaí.
“These three girls have been barred for a long time but are constantly taking goods. Everytime they come in they are asked to leave and it makes them laugh, and there is constant abuse at me and my staff. They say they are not afraid of the gardaí when we say we will call them and they show their back sides and clap them. My staff are afraid of them because they hurl abuse at them and they say someone will get them when they go outside. Every day I am at my wits end with their bully boy tactics on us,” he said in his statement.
Inspector Doherty asked that the maximum sentence be considered but Judge Mary Devins said that was two years imprisonment and she did not think the European Court of Human Rights would have the same view.
While Insp Doherty accepted this he said that business people in the town had enough problems without having to deal with intimidating tactics. He added that the employees of Caseys probably get less than Ms McDonagh does on social welfare.
Mr Gary Mulchrone, solicitor for Ms McDonagh said that in relation to the Casey’s incident, his client took the goods because she had no money to pay for it. He said she apologised and had two young children and was anxious to stay out of prison.
Judge Devins sentenced her to five months imprisonment for the two thefts and fined her €600. Recognisance was set in the event of an appeal.