By Donal McMahon
A Newry mother who 'egged her son on' in a brazen daylight shoplifting of slippers and pans has been given 12 months probation to discover the root cause of her repeat offending.
Mary Ward (47) and her son Patrick Ward (20) of Main Avenue pleaded guilty to theft from Menary’s in the city on October 27.
The court heard that a report was made to the PSNI by staff at the Hill Street shop at approximately 4pm.
CCTV footage captured the co-accused entering the store.
Mary Ward could be seen taking pans and going into the corner of the shop.
Patrick Ward then walked towards his mother with a pair of slippers.
The collective items were valued at £153.
Police observed the footage and then arrested the defendants at their address.
Prosecution stated that Mary Ward was wearing the same top as she was in the video and Patrick Ward was wearing the same bottoms as he had been on the CCTV.
The stolen items were then recovered from the bedroom and the kitchen of the house.
The co-accused, Patrick Ward, thew defendant’s son, was dealt with by way of a £200 fine and an offender’s levy.
A pre-sentence report as prepared for Mary Ward due to a previous record now amounting to three thefts and four dishonesty offences.
Defence solicitor, Peter Hearty said that he had little top add to the pre-sentence report and that the items remained in their packaging and were fit for resale.
“She cares for a young adult at home who had mental health problems,” said Mr Hearty.
“There are ongoing problems with neighbours.
“On the day in question she received a phone call from the Housing Executive. Which caused her some distress.
“She says she was not thinking properly when she went into the shop.
“She has been found to be of medium likelihood of reoffending,” added the solicitor.
The district judge alluded to the growing offences of the defendant and wanted that she was fast approaching custody.
“This was a blatant case of shoplifting in broad daylight with other people involved,” said the judge.
“You received a warning in 2019 by way of a conditional discharges.
“You are knocking on the door of custody.
“If you are having problems with your neighbours, but that does not excuse your behaviour.
“You have ruled out community service (on the pre-sentence report) so you are moving ever closer to the doors of Hydebank (prison).
“You must work with probation to find and address the cause of your offending,” added the magistrate.