A woman who appeared in court on dozens of theft charges has been called a “one woman shoplifting industry” by a Judge.
Lisa Mongan appeared at Letterkenny District Court various a litany of thefts from various stores including Iceland, Dealz, Aldi, Spar and various other private shops.
The mother-of-three pleaded guilty to all the charges.
Among the items stolen were trolley-loads of grocery shopping, cosmetics, dog beds, bins, bathroom sets, flowers, cleaning products and television brackets.
Prosecuting Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan was forced to spread out the charge sheets across a large table because of the volume of charges.
Ms Mongan’s theft spree started in September, 2016 and finished May of this year.
Ms Mongan even used her children while she went on shoplifting trips.
Among the items she stole was a ‘dog bed’ while she later admitted to Judge Paul Kelly that she didn’t even own a dog.
On one occasion, Ms Mongan and another woman was captured on CCTV opening a one-way door and pushing a shopping trolley full of groceries worth €284 out of a LIDL outlet in Milford.
On another occasion at Bargain Homewares at Lower Main Street in Letterkenny, she stole a bin and filled it with various items worth almost €90.
Some of the other local shops she hit included Magees Chemist in Letterkenny and McElhinney’s Stores in Ballybofey.
The court was told that she became so well-known for shoplifting in some stores that staff had barred her.
Ms Mongan’s solicitor, Mr Donough Cleary said it was clear that his client, of Cashel Park, Letterkenny, was simply not stealing out of necessity.
He suggested there was some sort of psychiatric issue with Ms Mongan.
“There is no doubt she has an appalling record but the vast majority of the items appear to have been recovered.
“The question is why she persists. The thefts appear to be pointless and that it forms some form of escapism.
“There are self-esteem issues and it appears to manifest itself in this type of behaviour,” he added.
But Judge Paul Kelly it appeared that “it just seems to be whatever she can stuff in her pockets.”
He added “This lady appears to be a one-woman shoplifting industry. Her offending is extraordinary. She has been granted bail numerous times. She has left court and reoffended the next day if not the same day.”
Judge Kelly also included charges of driving without insurance in his summing up and sentencing.
He took the vast majority of theft charges into consideration but jailed Mongan for a total of 10 months and backdated it to September 6th when she went into custody.