'This is not an a la carte menu', judge tells defendant

Man appears at Newry court charged with rape of baby

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

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A 31-year-old woman, who stole four bottles of perfume from a store in Portadown to fund a drug addiction, has been jailed for four months.

The case of Sarah Marie Gervin, of Pinebank Gardens, Coalisland, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, May 4.

The court heard that on December 10 last year, police attended a report of a theft that occurred two days previous at Savers on Meadow Lane, Portadown.

Upon arrival, officers obtained a statement from the assistant manager as well as CCTV footage which showed the defendant walking around the store and lifting four bottles of perfume – to the value of £124.96 – before leaving without making an effort to pay.

In her defence, the court was told that Gervin did not consent for a community based sentence due to her ongoing addiction issues as she would be afraid of not being able to keep to the requirements.

It was added that the defendant would be amenable to pay a fine if that was imposed or engage with a probation order.

However, District Judge Bernie Kelly responded saying: “This is not an a la carte menu.

“Your client doesn’t get to pick and choose and does she seriously think if this court hadn’t contemplated a fine, we would put the probation service through the bother of preparing a report?”

The defence solicitor stated she understood the Judge’s comments and that Gervin was fully aware of the risk of a custodial sentence but this would interfere with interacting with her children.

The Judge added: “This was a clear offence, which was premeditated and planned for the purposes of garnering items for a quick sale to fund her addiction to drugs.

“There can only be one sentence for that sort of behaviour.”

Gervin was imposed with a four month custodial sentence for the offence.

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