A mother of two who threatened to “beat the head off” a store manager who confronted her about shoplifting appeared in Castlebar District Court last week.
Una McDonagh, 11 The Grove, Castlebar, and an accomplice went into the Castlebar Next store on May 14, 2011. When store manager Stephanie Kelly noticed McDonagh, who had previously been barred from entering the premises, she approached the 26 year-old.
However, McDonagh refused to leave the store and became very abusive and aggressive to Ms Kelly and other staff members. She subsequently threw a swimsuit at Ms Kelly’s face and became very irate. The furore resulted in the majority of customers leaving the store while potential customers were too intimidated to enter.
More than three months later, on August 11, the defendant and an accomplice entered the store again. When they exited, a security alarm sounded. Gardaí were alerted, and staff chased after the duo. McDonagh threatened to beat Ms Kelly when the store manager asked her to return to the store. McDonagh was very vocal and shouted obscenities before leaving the area.
The accused who has six previous convictions also faced charges relating to the September 19 theft of groceries from Casey’s Centra shop, and the theft of bottles of Coke and Red Bull from Mace in Moneen, Castlebar. McDonagh is presently completing 120 hours of community service relating to separate matters.
Judge Denis McLoughlin adjourned the case until January 18 remanding McDonagh on bail, and he requested that a probation report be carried out on the defendant. He indicated that should the report be favourable, he is likely to convict McDonagh and sentence her to 120 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison.