Judge Desmond Zaidan presided over the case
A 73-year-old woman charged with running a brothel in Kildare has told a court that she needed money to pay for for a kidney for her son.
At Naas District Court today (July 26), Terezinha Aparecida de Jesus, with an address given as 8 Basin Street, Naas, pleaded guilty to allowing the premises at 8 Basin Street, Naas, to be used as a brothel on November 9, 2016.
After hearing details of the case, Judge Desmond Zaidan applied the Probation Act on the basis that she was going back to her native Brazil.
The woman, who was assisted and comforted by her Portuguese translator during the hearing, was visibly upset during the case.
When she appeared at an earlier sitting of the court on July 5, the case was adjourned after it emerged that the defence said it would be making an initial legal point. Earlier this year, Gardai asked for more time to clarify some issues and later said that the technical issues involved had now been addressed and the matter could proceed.
When the question of the legal point was raised today, Matthew Byrne, solicitor for Ms de Jesus, said that while there was a legal point to be made, his client had instructed him to plead guilty.
A female Garda told the court that the premises on Basin Street was put under surveillance and there had been a complaint from a member of the public. Gardai visited it on November 9 of last year and it emerged that the defendant was looking for €80 for sex. There was only one female, Ms de Jesus, there at the premises.
Judge Desmond Zaidan asked if people were paying to have sex with a seventy year old woman. “It would appear that way,” said said the garda, who added that a younger person had been advertised on a website.
She said another younger woman was involved, but was not there at the time of the offence. Gardai found just €80 in cash at the brothel.
The Court was told that Ms de Jesus had arrived in Ireland just three or four days previous to the incident and she had had just one customer. Gardai said Ms de Jesus made a full statement.
Mr Byrne said that Ms de Jesus held a European passport and had been in Ireland before this. He said her 98-year-old mother was extremely ill in Brazil.
Judge Zaidan asked what came over her to do this. Mr Byrne said her 40-year-old son was awaiting a replacement kidney in Brazil and she needed the money.
Ms de Jesus had no previous convictions of any kind. Mr Byrne said she was anxious to return to Brazil. “I don’t believe she will return to Ireland,” he said.
Mr Byrne said his client was “extremely embarrassed” and the court could see she was upset. He said she was not a woman of great means and he asked the judge not to impose a jail sentence.
The judge asked if her son knew she was in court. Mr Byrne replied: “No.” Mr Byrne said she was only doing it to save her son.
The court was told that there did not appear to be any criminal involvement.
Judge Zaidan said that some were open to abuse by people running brothels. Gardai said they did not believe that was happening in this case.
Judge Zaidan suggested that she might like to contact the organisation which helps women involved in prostitution. On the basis that she undertook to go back to Brazil, he said he would apply the Probation Act and not convict her. He ordered that the €80 found at the brothel go to the State.
The court was told that the address was no longer being used as a brothel.