Northern Ireland

Shoplifting mother-of-five left baby behind

A mother-of-five fled the scene of a shoplifting incident leaving her three-month-old baby in the back of a 4x4.

Margaret Doherty appeared at Letterkenny District Court in County Donegal on Wednesday on theft charges.

Doherty, of Ballymacool Gardens, Letterkenny, stole a range of goods over a six-week period starting in January 2005.

The judge fined her a total of 550 euro (£441) and imposed a suspended jail sentence of nine months.

She stole computers games, clothing, groceries and a child's buggy.

The court heard how Doherty was caught stealing 161 euro (£129) of groceries from Gormley's Centra supermarket on 7 January, 2005.

When caught, Doherty fled the shop accompanied by her three children but left her three-month-old baby in her vehicle in the shop's car park.

The court heard eight bench warrants had been issued to locate the 34-year-old mother over the past six years.

Doherty's solicitor said his client had "been through a lot" and that her brother had been murdered in England.

He said her real problem was facing up to her crimes and coming to court.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Kelly said the court knew his thoughts on shoplifting and the damage it had done to the country.