Woman jailed for damage to €1.50 packet of Pringles

Woman jailed for damage to €1.50 packet of Pringles

A young woman who just could not stop herself from popping a tube of Pringles crisps caused a scene in a supermarket which resulted in her being sentenced to two months in prison.

Kathleen McDonagh, aged 24, of 1 Inchera Close, Mahon, Cork, pleaded guilty causing criminal damage to the item, which had a price tag of €1.50.

Judge Brian O’Shea sentenced her to four months, with half of the sentence suspended.

Inspector Ronan Kennelly outlined the background to the Christmas-time offence. He said McDonagh entered the Tesco store in Mahon Point on December 27, 2016, and went to the self-scan area. Two security officers viewed her on camera and identified her as a person barred from the store for previous interactions.

“As the security officers approached her, she opened the Pringles and removed the foil top and she said ‘I opened it so you have to leave me pay for it’,” said Insp Kennelly.

“It was not damaged and not fit for resale, with a loss of €1.50. She said she wanted to buy the Pringles but she had no permission to be in the store.”

McDonagh had 14 previous theft convictions and two for causing criminal damage. Judge O’Shea noted that previously imposed suspended sentences had no effect on the accused.

Shane Collins-Daly, defending, said McDonagh’s view was that she was just there to buy a packet of Pringles. However, she was barred from the store and should not have been there.

Judge O’Shea said: “It is difficult not to view it as smart-alec behaviour.”

Mr Collins-Daly said the woman is doing better in her life now and had been working in a hair salon for the past five months.

Judge O’Shea let the sentencing hearing stand for gardaí to make inquiries about this employment. The defendant later indicated that she had not been working there for the past three weeks and was now working from her mother’s house.

Judge O’Shea proceeded to impose the partially suspended sentence. Recognisance pending an appeal was set at €200.

The charge stated that on December 27, 2016, at Tesco, Mahon Point shopping centre, Kathleen McDonagh in Cork District Court area, did without lawful excuse damage property, to wit, a foil lid on a box of Pringles partially removed, value €1.50, not resalable, belonging to Tesco shop of Mahon Point intending to damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged, contrary to section 2 (1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1991.

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