File photo: Naas courthouse
A woman with 227 previous convictions, including twenty for theft, has been jailed following an incident in which she struck the manager of a supermarket with her car.
Margaret Connors (32), 32 Millfield Manor, Newbridge pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, theft from a supermarket and hit and run at Naas District.
She was stopped by Det Garda Seamus Doyle for road traffic offences and identified as the woman who stole an Iphone priced at €1,100, and €550 cash from the staff area at Panda Chinese food outlet in Newbridge on March 30 2018.
The supermarket offence took place on September 26 2016. After taking €31 of groceries without paying at the Supervalu store in Newbridge, she was followed by security and a manager.
Naas District Court was told yesterday, July 12 by Garda Doyle that she panicked and reversed her car, hitting but not seriously injuring the manager. He had slight back pain for a day or two.
She was charged with hit and run from the scene of an accident and failing to stop. She had no insurance to drive that day.
When told Ms Connors had 227 previous convictions, including 191 for road traffic offences, Judge Desmond Zaidan said he was “stunned”.
The first was recorded in April 2003, when she was seventeen, and the last, before the current charges was on February 2 2015.
“She must have one of the worst records for a female in the State,” he said.
Aisling Murphy BL, representing Ms Connors, said her client had suffered for years from domestic abuse from her husband. Married at the age of nineteen, she had four children, aged 11, 9, 2 and eleven months.
When Ms Murphy said her client had got permission to bring her 11 month baby into jail with her, Judge Zaidan asked if Tusla were aware of this situation.
“What baby deserves to be in prison,” he asked.
Garda Doyle said that her husband was “extremely violent.”
Judge Zaidan said that almost every judge in Ireland must have heard about her background.
Ms Murphy said the 20 thefts had come out of necessity but her client was on a lone parent allowance. She was remorseful and prepared to pay the cost of the Iphone and cash.
Judge Zaidan said he accepted she had “been to hell and back” but asked why would he not give her children a break from their mother.
“She seems to concentrate on criminal behaviour rather than rearing her family,” he commented.
Garda Doyle said her children were not in State care.
Judge Zaidan told the Garda. “I should release her so she will keep you busy. You can help her make the Guinness Book of Records.”
He said he had sympathy for her but he had to draw the line.
For the theft at Supervalu on September 26 2016, taking into account the hit and run aspect, he gave her an 11 month jail sentence.
For failing to remain at the scene he disqualified her from driving for ten years and gave her a ten month concurrent driving ban for driving without insurance.
For the burglary at Panda on March 30 2018, he gave her a consecutive 11 months jail sentence.
For driving without insurance on July 2 2018 he gave her a ten year driving ban.