A 33-year-old woman who altered a social welfare cheque into her own name and tried to cash it, has been given more time to pay compensation after Dundalk district court heard her apartment had been flooded since the last occasion.
Sinead Prendergast, with an address at Drumalee Road, North Circular Road, Dublin 7, was prosecuted for using and having a false instrument at the Quay Street post office, in Dundalk on December 22nd last.
The court previously heard how the defendant – who was under the influence of others, had changed the name on the cheque to her own and tried to get the €719 from it.
She produced a passport and gas bill as proof of her identity but staff at the post office became suspicious and the Gardai were called.
The court heard the cheque was made out to a man in Dundalk and Gardai said it had been ‘intercepted’ by someone else because the man never received it.
The court was told that Sinead Prendergast had been asked by others to help cash the cheque but they were not before the courts.
At the previous hearing, the court heard the accused came from a ‘very disadvantaged background’ and had started using heroin at 14 as both her parents were alcoholics.
In July 2011, the defendant was placed on probation for 12 months on one of the charges, the other was adjourned, so her progress could be kept under review.
Last September the court heard the latest probation report was favourable, and arrangements had been paid to pay back the money at €20 a week.
The court was asked by the defence last Wednesday to grant a further adjournment as Ms. Prendergast’s apartment had suffered flooding.
Judge Flann Brennan agreed to put back the case until the eighth of May after he heard that €100 was in court out of the balance of €224 that was outstanding.