Northern Ireland news

Former Northern Ireland ladies footballer fined for begging to feed drug addiction

Laganside Court in Belfast

A WOMAN who once played football for Northern Ireland resorted to begging after becoming addicted to hardcore drugs, a court heard yesterday.

Kylie Lindsay was fined £50 for the latest offence she committed on the streets of Belfast.

The 32-year-old, of no fixed abode, admitted to begging at Royal Avenue yesterday.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard she has four previous incidents on her record.

But defence lawyer Niall O'Neill told how her life became derailed by a dependency on illicit substances.

"She was a talented sportswoman who played football for Northern Ireland ladies," he said.

"Unfortunately she developed an addiction to hardcore drugs."

Mr O'Neill urged District Judge Fiona Bagnall to show leniency due to his client's personal circumstances and early guilty plea.

"Her behaviour is textured by addiction as opposed to avarice," the solicitor stressed.

Imposing the £50 fine, Mrs Bagnall gave Lindsay 20 weeks to pay it.

But the judge warned: "She is going to have to get herself to the position that she needs help. Otherwise we are just going to go round and round in circles."

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