Teen introduced to heroin ‘to take the pain away’

A teenager grieving after her father’s death was introduced to “something to take the pain away” by a neighbour and this resulted in a 10-year heroin addiction.

Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said Andrea Simonicova, aged 29, was living in Cork City with her parents, who came to Ireland when she was a child.

Mr Kelleher said her father was an architect in Prague but got cancer and died when his daughter was 16 years old.

“She took it very badly and was finding it very difficult,” he told the court. “She bumped into a neighbour [in Cork City at the time] who put her on to something to ‘help’.

What he actually put her on to — at the age of 17 — was heroin and she ended up addicted to it for 10 years.”

He outlined this background in a case where Simonicova, of Red Fort, Derrigra, Ballineen, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to stealing an iPhone 5 at the AIB in Douglas Court shopping centre on September 21, 2016.

The owner of the phone left it on the counter and she took it.

Det Garda Aonghus Cotter investigated the theft and when he spoke to the defendant she returned the phone.

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a five-month suspended jail term on her for stealing the phone.

The solicitor said that the accused had turned her life around in the past year. She managed to get clear of heroin when she became pregnant and has since had a child and was doing much better in her life with a supportive partner who was a very positive person in her life.

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