A WOMAN with over 140 convictions who was shouting in a street in a dispute about money has been given a 14 months jail sentence.
Ciara Craig (38), of Drumachose Park in Limavady, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena on Friday, and pleaded guilty to a charge of being disorderly at Ballyquin Road in Limavady in relation to Thursday of this week.
A defence solicitor claimed the defendant was shouting in a street at a person in relation to money which the man “wouldn’t give back”.
The lawyer said the offence before the court on its own perhaps would have not led to a custodial sentence but he accepted there were a number of previous cases and suspended sentences.
He added: “This is not the worst, perhaps, of a disorderly that might appear before Your Worship. There were circumstances, I’m not saying they justified her conduct, but certainly there was a reason for her conduct”.
The lawyer appealed for Craig to be given a “final chance”.
However, District Judge Peter King said the defendant had been in front of him three times this week and it was her 142nd conviction.
He said she had failed to take heed of previous warnings from him about her offending.
The judge said he was well aware of the background of the defendant which was why “this disposal today doesn’t bring me anything but a profound sense of depression and sadness”.
The judge handed down a two months sentence for the new offence but activated suspended sentences of a year to run consecutively to make a total of 14 months in prison.
The defendant had bail of £250 fixed for appeal but the judge refused to release her pending appeal.
Judge King said he had “absolutely no doubt” if Craig was released she would be back in court tomorrow.
He told the defendant “Quite frankly Ms Craig you are sitting on 14 months now. If I released you tonight you would end this experience with close to 18 months”.