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Couple jailed after non-payment of restaurant bills and shoplifting

A married couple have been jailed after several incidents of non-payment of restaurant bills and shoplifting.

Ann McDonagh, 39, from Sandfields, Port Talbot, was charged with five counts of fraud and four counts of theft (shoplifting). Bernard McDonagh, 41, from Sandfields, Port Talbot, was charged with five counts of fraud.

Both pleaded guilty to the charges at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 8.

Affected restaurants included Bella Ciao and River House, Swansea; La Casona, Skewen; Golden Fortune, Port Talbot; and Isabella’s, Porthcawl. Ann McDonagh also admitted counts of shoplifting affecting Tommy Hilfiger and Sainsbury’s at McArthurGlen Bridgend Designer Outlet and Tesco Extra, Swansea, as well as obstructing a police officer in the course of their duty at Queen’s Road Police Station, Bridgend.

Pictured: Ann McDonagh and Bernard McDonagh

Ann McDonagh has been sentenced to one year in prison. Bernard McDonagh has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Inspector Andrew Hedley said:

“The prolific and brazen offending of Ann and Bernard McDonagh rightly caught the attention of a large percentage of the local public. It is great to see that justice has now been served in the form of these sentences and thank those members of public who assisted with the investigation.

“They deliberately ran up huge bills at restaurants which they had no intention of paying. This had a significant impact on the premises they targeted, one of which was newly-opened at the time. Reducing and preventing business and retail crime is a priority within Swansea City, and any crime will be fully investigated, with those found offending, brought to justice.

“Ann and Bernard McDonagh clearly felt that the law did not apply to them. This sentencing shows that it does.”

Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea BID, said:

“Our Business Crime Reduction partnership, funded and hosted by Swansea BID, played an important part in delivering this positive outcome. Our free Sentrysis reporting platform, which we provide to our businesses, was instrumental in facilitating this result, enabling us to efficiently track and address criminal activities within our City Centre business community.

“The success of this case underscores the importance of our ongoing collaborative efforts with South Wales Police and the effective use of our Sentrysis reporting platform, alongside the other services and products we provide our businesses. Together with South Wales Police and other partners, we continue to make Swansea City Centre a safer place for both businesses and the wider community.”