Woman assaulted shop worker during shoplifting episode

A shoplifter who had a compartment in her apron for concealing stolen goods assaulted a shopkeeper during a theft, but yesterday she only pleaded guilty to the crimes so that she could get out of jail.

Woman assaulted shop worker during shoplifting episode

Insp John Deasy said the crimes were committed at Wedlinka on Cornmarket St, Cork City, on August 3, 2013.

The accused, Rozalia Muntean, of 21 Vicar St, Cork, had a compartment in an apron on her skirt adapted for the purpose of concealing stolen property.

Insp Deasy said Muntean was one of a group of women who entered Wedlinka on Cornmarket St in order to steal items.

“The staff member attempted to stop these people. She was pushed aside and she received a punch to the face by Ms Muntean,” said Insp Deasy.

“She contacted the police and made a complaint. She identified Ms Muntean as the person who assaulted her.”

Dennis Healy, defending, said: “She is pleading guilty to get out of jail. I cannot get her High Court bail.”

Muntean was remanded in custody on the theft and assault charges, and was unable to get out on High Court bail.

Mr Healy said he had been unable to get her High Court bail as he could not get anyone to sign affidavits for the accused at Limerick Prison.

Judge Leo Malone said: “You are not making any sense to me, Mr Healy. She is either pleading guilty or not guilty.”

Mr Healy said he had people standing in for him in the High Court in Dublin and they had not been able to get the affidavits necessary for the bail application executed.

“She is pleading guilty and she is going to appeal,” he said, adding that this was the only way the accused could get out of jail.

Judge Malone imposed an overall sentence of four months for offences, including the assault and theft. She had 33 previous convictions, including four counts for theft.

Mr Healy said the 34-year-old mother of four was reckless in her actions in relation to the assault and said that any contact was accidental.

“She apologises for any accidental contact she made with the girl in the shop,” Mr Healy said.

Judge Malone fixed bail pending an appeal at €800 — that cash was lodged by a relative of the accused after she was sentenced.

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