Woman forced to shoplift up to €1,000 to clear boyfriend’s debt

Niamh O’Flynn, aged 24, of Sunberry, Blarney, Co Cork, pleaded guilty today to eight counts of theft from shops.

Woman forced to shoplift up to €1,000 to clear boyfriend’s debt

A woman who was jailed today for shoplifting at eight shops in Cork City and Blarney was under threat to clear her boyfriend’s debt and was being driven from shop to shop to steal hundreds of euro worth of items.

Niamh O’Flynn, aged 24, of Sunberry, Blarney, Co Cork, pleaded guilty today to eight counts of theft from shops.

Judge Olann Kelleher said the court had a duty to the owners of the shops who were a loss for the stolen property and said these businesses were employing people in the community.

The judge imposed a sentence of eight months and said there was about €1,000 worth of stolen property that was never recovered.

Eddie Burke, solicitor, said O’Flynn had succeeded in staying out of trouble for a fairly long period after a time when she was using heroin and stealing from shops. Mr Burke said that she went to rehabilitation. However, she started taking tablets following the suicide of a man with whom she had been in a relationship with.

“She got in a relationship with a young man. People were calling to her to pay his debt. She was being threatened and driven around to get these things,” Mr Burke said.

In a short period from last month to last December 13, she stole items from Lifestyle Sports in Wilton, Walsh’s pharmacy in Blarney, Boots and Hickey’s in Ballincollig, and a Tesco.

She was taking cosmetics, clothes and other items.

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