A judge jailed a grandmother for brothel keeping and dismissed her story that she returned to the prostitution business to bankroll her husband’s credit card spending spree as being “in the realms of Walter Mitty”.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Tom O’Donnell jailed Brazilian-born Aulicete Walsh, 54, for four months for brothel keeping in Ennis and Limerick in May 2015, telling the court that he did not regard her as a victim.
Ms Walsh was appealing an eight-month jail term imposed on her at the district court in March. Judge O’Donnell said he did not find anything wrong with the district court sentence.
However, he ordered that the two four-month jail terms imposed consecutively in the district court be made concurrent.
Ms Walsh of Breskabeg, Clarina, Co Limerick, was previously convicted of brothel keeping and fined €750 in 2012 at Newcastle West District Court.
“The reason put forward that this lady went back into prostitution was because her husband’s spending habits got out of kilter is in the realms of Walter Mitty. I find it incredible to say the least,” Judge O’Donnell said.
Ms Walsh was accompanied to court by her husband, Patrick Walsh, 53.
On instructions from his client, solicitor Daragh Hassett said that Ms Walsh came from abject poverty in Brazil and was put into working as a prostitute in her early teens. Mr Hassett said Ms Walsh made a clean break from being a prostitute and came to Ireland and worked as a cleaner.
He said that, unfortunately for Ms Walsh, her husband “is a man who likes to spend money he hasn’t got and his spending got on top of them and this drove Ms Walsh back into the trade”.
Acting for the State, solicitor Aisling Casey said that, when Ms Walsh was arrested on suspicion of brothel keeping in Ennis, she was driving a 2016 Renault Kadjar. Mr Hassett replied that the new car was an example of Ms Walsh’s husband’s overspending.
Mr Hassett said: “This monster needed to be fed. The credit card debts mounted and she went back into the trade of prostitution that she had given up.”
However, Mr Hassett said the husband’s view “is that he knew about her background before marrying her and he feels he drove her to what she did here and in some ways feels culpable for what happened”.
Ms Casey said Ms Walsh was renting apartments in Ennis and Limerick in May 2015 at “exorbitant prices” to prostitutes she made contact with via the website Escort Ireland.
Walsh was renting the Ennis apartment for €370 a month and was charging €600 a week, or €2,400 a month, to the prostitutes using it, while her Limerick apartment was costing her €650 a month and she charging €700 a week, or €2,800 a month, to the prostitutes there for the rental.
Judge O’Donnell gave 14 days for Ms Walsh to get her affairs in order and she will commence her prison sentence on May 22.
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