Limavady woman with 118 convictions tells police: ‘Arrest me, arrest me’

Limavady Courthouse
Limavady Courthouse

A 29-year-old Limavady woman who has an “alarming” 118 convictions was addicted to morphine when she shouted at police “arrest me, arrest me”, a court has been told.

Appearing at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday was Rachel Morrow from Rathbeg Crescent who was sentenced for the offences of theft of food items, namely yoghurts, and the attempted theft of dog treats and a drink on May 30th from Spar on Irish Green Street; stealing beauty and hair products to the value of £268.56 from a store on March 31 and resisting a police officer on April 5.

The court heard police were tasked to Sally’s Hair and Beauty Supplies on March 31 regarding a report of a shoplifter. CCTV footage showed Morrow placing the items in her bag. When police went to her house about the matter, they found shampoo in the bathroom and Morrow said: “What the f***?”

Morrow claimed she had replaced the item as she didn’t have the money to pay for it before.

On May 30th, a theft and attempted theft were reported by the complainant at Spar on Irish Green Street. The complainant said Morrow had stolen items and she had returned again, but he confronted her.

CCTV showed Morrow taking the items.

Morrow admnitted taking two pots of yoghurt, valued at £6, but not the Red Bull or dog treats. She said she had no money as she had lost her purse.

On April 5th, Morrow’s ex-partner called police claiming Morrow had smashed his TV screen. When police arrived she came out and shouted: “Arrest me, arrest me”.

Morrow became agitated and, after she was placed in the police car, she jumped out and had to be placed on the ground, restrained and handcuffed.

Defence counsel Nicki Rountree said Morrow had an “alarming amount of convictions”.

District Judge McNally pointed out the first of Morrow’s 118 convictions occurred on March 16th, 2005.

Ms Rountree continued, and said Morrow struggled to manage her behaviour when she was under the influence of alcohol, and a lot of her convictions were relative to that. Ms Rountree said at the time of the offences Morrow would say she was “out of it” and was addicted to morphine.

Ms Rountree said things were different now for Morrow and she had been alcohol-free for a number of months.

“She’s a very insecure lady,” said Ms Rountree. “I think it says something about where an individual is in life when they are stealing yoghurts and shampoo and dog treats.”

When sentencing Morrow, who was crying in court, District Judge McNally told her that three days after he imposed a custodial sentence “you went out thieving in this town. You’ve been doing it for 10 years now and you haven’t stopped. You haven’t learnt your lesson.”

District Judge McNally said it was not because of Morrow’s “crocodile tears” that he wasn’t imposing jail, but because of what Ms Rountree had said on her behalf.

Mr McNally said he would “take a chance” and imposed one year probation for the offences of resisting an officer and the theft of the beauty supplies. For the theft and attempted theft he deferred sentencing until November 2, 2016.

“Whether you go to prison, on top of what you have, depends entirely on you,” warned Mr McNally.