A Bournemouth woman stole food, clothes, flowers and beauty products to help her sick mother, a court heard today. Ms Fitzgerald, 39, appeared in the Magistrates Court on Monday on various accounts of theft, for possession of morphine and for failure to surrender to bail.
The defendant was supposed to appear in court on November 8th for theft charges, but failed to turn up, and was found guilty in her absence. Her defence attorney, Mr Elliot, argued that she had not been able to attend the hearing because she was at the time “all over the place and suffering a nervous breakdown”. Concerning the thefts, he added that Ms Fitzgerald’s father had just died from a long illness and her mother diagnosed with cancer. “She wanted to get her flowers but had no money”. She was also seven months pregnant at the time, and moved into her mother’s house with her twelve year old son. The defence accepted her record was not good and that she was guilty of not turning up in court, but added that since November, she “hadn’t further offended”.
The case has been adjourned until the 26th February, date at which the court will have received the defendant’s Drug Rehabilitation Requirement assessment. The chairman of the Court, Mr Larshley asked Ms Fitzgerald to “clean up her drug problem” until then. She has meanwhile been released on conditional bail, providing she report to Winton police station daily.