Judge asks shoplifting duo why they haven’t learned English

June 29, 2021

A Judge has asked two Romanian sisters why they haven’t learned how to speak English having spent six years in Ireland.

Judge Alan Mitchell hit out at Maria and Rodica Rostas who appeared before Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal on a number of shoplifting charges.

The woman admitted all the charges following thefts from Dunnes Stores, Iceland and Dealz but did not have any compensation in court.

The items stolen included groceries and children’s clothing to the value of more than €270.

Judge Mitchell asked the women “Why have you not learned English in six years. Do you want to go back to Romania? We can arrange that.”

The court was told that Maria did not work but Rodica sold the Big Issue magazine around Ballybofey and made €20 a day.

The woman’s solicitor Patsy Gallagher said they were supported by their families who most worked in local car washes.

Judge Mitchell added “I presume that in shops in Romania you have to pay for goods. If you steal you have to compensate the shops.”

He added that he was disappointed the women, with addresses at Main Street and The Green in Convoy, had not been saving up the money to compensate the shops as the thefts happened more than a year ago.

He adjourned the cases until next week to allow the women to gather the compensation for the shops and warned them they faced serious consequences if they didn’t.

“If you don’t pay the money there is free travel and accommodation in Mountjoy Prison.

“I take it neither of you would like to see the inside of an Irish prison?” he added.