A young heroin user who stole hair extensions from a shop and hit the shop keeper when confronted was sentenced to 12 months in jail at Athy District Court on Tuesday, October 8.
Jessie Connell with an address listed as 1317 Townspark, Athy came to the attention of gardai on September 27, 2019 at a local store after she assaulted the shop keeper.
The court heard that the defendant went into a shop to steal the hair extensions and the shop owner followed her and got the extensions back. The defendant then slapped the shop keeper across the face.
She also stole €143.70 worth of goods from McHughs pharmacy on July 16, 2019. The property was recovered. The court heard that she walked in and took the goods off the shelf and then left the shop. She was captured on CCTV.
She has 21 previous convictions and has lost custody of her child.
“It just shows you the evils with drugs – a young heroin user whose child is now in state care all because of drugs,” said Judge Desmond Zaidan.
Solicitor Jackie McManus told the court that her client wants to turn her life around. She said that she is 22 and was homeless at the time.
“She has had no schooling, no education, no routine, no structure and a very difficult upbringing. She took to drugs and is strung out on heroin now. This is a very dangerous drug which destroys lives. She’s come to the court and made full admissions here today.”
Judge Zaidan added that she has lost everything to heroin.
“That is the tragedy of addiction,” he said.
“It has very serious consequences.”
He sentenced her to seven months for theft and five for assault.
He recommended that she undergo a successful drug programme in prison.