Teen stole from charity shops

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A teenager who admitted stealing from two charity shops has been ordered to complete 40 hours community service.

Helen McDonagh, who is originally from Dublin but now resides at Daisyfield Park, pleaded guilty to four charges of theft and obstructing police on August 17.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that the 18-year-old stole pyjamas worth £1.99 and items worth £11.55 from the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice Shop.

She also admitted stealing items from Poundstretchers and Poundland.

During the incident she stole goods worth a total of £152.18. However they were all discovered by police and fit for re-sale.

The court heard that when arrested McDonagh gave police a false name but later gave her true identity and apologised for her behaviour.

Defence solicitor Michael McGee told the court his client was recently married and had moved to the city to be with her husband.

He said his client could not give any explanation for her behaviour, other than the death of her younger brother in a car accident earlier this year.

Mr McGee added his client’s “mental state is abnormal at the moment” and the offences are part of the “backlash from her brother’s death”.

The solicitor conceded that to steal anything from a charity shop is “dreadful” and said McDonagh knows this and apologise d for it.

Deputy District Judge Terence Dunlop sentenced the teen to a conditional discharge for two years and the community service order.

He said she had stolen from “not one but two charity shops” and two other businesses “struggling to meet their margins”.