Mum of 11 gets suspended jail sentence for sixth theft conviction

January 15, 2018

A mother of 11, who received her sixth theft conviction in Buncrana Court, was given a two month suspended jail sentence.

Kathleen McDonagh, 63, of the Big Isle, Manorcunningham, was charged with stealing a Triton T90 Power Shower worth €250 from Inishowen Co-Op at the Cockhill Road in Buncrana, on November 28, 2015.

Buncrana District Court heard that Ms. McDonagh repaid the compensation to the Inishowen Co-Op. She pleaded guilty to the offence last Thursday.

The court heard that charges against two juveniles, who were charged alongside Ms. McDonagh, were withdrawn by the Gardai on the basis of Ms. McDonagh’s guilty plea.

Garda Inspector David Murphy told the court that Garda McHugh was called to Inishowen Co-Op on November 28, 2015, after it was alleged that items were stolen from their premises at the Cockhill Road.

He said while there he met with the store manager, Sam Ramsey, who had viewed CCTV of an older female, who was accompanied by two younger females, removing a Triton power shower from the store.

Insp. Murphy said the CCTV showed Ms. McDonagh pointing towards the shower and holding open the door, while the two younger ladies removed it from the store.

He said it was clear that it was a ‘joint enterprise’ between Ms. McDonagh and the two juveniles.

Insp. Murphy said Gda. McHugh recognised Ms. McDonagh from the CCTV footage and he searched her home at the Big Isle in Manorcunningham after receiving a search warrant. However, he did not locate the shower at the Big Isle.

Kathleen McDonagh was arrested. However Insp. Murphy said she was not co-operative during interview and answered ‘no comment’ when questions were put to her by Gda. McHugh.
Insp. Murphy said the power shower was never recovered, however McDonagh repaid the compensation to the Inishowen Co-Op.

He said McDonagh had five previous convictions for theft, damaging property and had been given the probation act for cruelty to animals.

Defence solicitor Frank Dorrian said Ms. McDonagh and her family were familiar to the court. He said Ms. McDonagh, a mother of 11 children, had seen hardship in her life, adding that her domestic situation was ‘chaotic’.

“Her family has lived in the compound in the Big Isle for twenty years, her domestic situation is chaotic but she is the voice of reason among these people most of the time,” Mr. Dorrian said.

“She has great remorse and regret for what happened.”

Judge Paul Kelly said McDonagh had five previous convictions for theft dating back to the late 1990s.

“She is well aware of the impact these convictions would have on her,” Judge Kelly added, before sentencing her to two months jail, suspended for 12 months, on the basis that she is not convicted on any other offences under the theft and fraud offences act.”


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