Pomeroy woman caught on CCTV stealing purse from charity shop


A Pomeroy woman who stole a purse in a charity shop has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

The court heard how a woman mistakenly left her purse containing £350 in an Action Cancer charity shop on July 1.

She returned later to find that the purse and money had gone and contacted the charity head office so that she might view CCTV footage.

The video showed a woman, identified as the defendant, Mary McCullagh, 62, from Parkview Drive, by the shop management, seemingly lifting the purse.

Police subsequently arrested Ms McCullagh who claimed to have no memory of where she had been at the time of the offence. It was only when they showed her the CCTV footage that she admitted taking the purse but claimed to have no idea what had become of the article.

Mr Rory Maguire, defending, described how his client had had a difficult upbringing:

“She suffers from mental health issues including bipolar disorder ... and is on a significant amount of medication,” he said before stating that she would happily reimburse the £350.

“If she wants credit for restitution, she makes restitution,” District Judge John Meehan replied. “If one has the will, it is achievable.

“This is part of a trail throughout her adult life,” Judge Meehan continued. “She had a four-year prison sentence for money transfers by deception.

“Probation can see no real victim empathy ... and she has shown no demonstrated remorse as shown that no effort was made to make restitution.

“However, this is a classic case for some measure of compassion,” he decided as he handed down a four-month prison sentence which he suspended for two years.

Judge Meehan further imposed a compensation order of £350 in favour of the victim of the theft.

“If you return to this court in the next two years you will serve that sentence,” the judge warned the defendant.