Heather Perrin, a 61-year-old woman born into a modest background where third-level education was not an option, one who “pulled herself up by the bootstraps” to progress from legal secretary to qualified solicitor at the age of 31, and to a seat on the bench at 57, is now consigned to An Dóchas women’s prison.

Prisoners there now routinely double up in rooms designed as private singles, and sleep in “hard bunk beds with thin duvets”, in the words of one source.

A woman known for her liking for good jewellery and prestigious car marques, one for whom her public face and dignity were perceived to be particularly important, will be reduced to purchasing stock from the prison shop on a stipend of less than €2 a day.

However, one of the biggest challenges she faces in prison, perhaps, will be the known fact of her former occupation, a factor acknowledged by Judge Mary Ellen Ring.

Judge not, lest ye be etc.

Fallout for judge will not end when jail term is over (Kathy Sheridan, Irish Times)

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

48 thoughts on “Dishonour

  1. Sido

    @ John Gallen – And according to RTÉ she resigned her position this Monday. (Perhaps to bargain down her sentence)
    Now I’m assuming Judges work a week in hand like!

    No need to pull out your hair – A cheque for 10 Euros made out to “Gloating Bastard” Roscommon will suffice.

  2. Pidge

    You’d never see the compassion in that article for most people convicted for this sort of thing.

    (Not that the compassion is wrong, mind, just rarely seen for others.)

    1. cluster

      Agreed. I personally feel that her previous occupation is grounds for more didain rather than sympathy.

      Most of our prisoners come from economically disadvantaged areas and often from families with a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        True. Judges get particularly miffed when someone “who has had the advantages of a comfortable, stable and privileged upbringing and education” stand before them for whatever offence.

        She definitely fits in that category and deserves no sympathy.

    2. Selina Kill

      Exactly. She’ll have 1% of my sympathy when I see an article like that about someone without her social status.
      Or when I see other criminal members of the great and the good go down.

    1. Improbable


      Next she’ll be fainting from the vapours – ‘I do declare Mr. Beauregarde, these latest revelations have gotten the better of me’

  3. Tinydave

    Wonder if all of her previous judgements will be appealed ?!?
    She should have been sacked also!
    Bet she will still get a juicy pension to help buy more jewellery and top end cars!

    1. cluster

      Why would her previous judgments be appealed? Do they directly relate to this case? Is there a suggestion that there was something dubious about her judgments?

      I thought that she had not worked long enough to earn pension entitlements? Is that wrong?

    1. mochara

      While there is no doubt that what this woman did was dispicable, she has had knee-replacement surgery and it is totally within the realm of possibility that she needs sticks.

  4. brian

    She is the first judge to be convicted of a serious criminal act in the history of the state, not the first to engage in criminal activity, just the first to get caught.
    What she did was despicable to life -long friends.
    Surely on a judges wage & pension, the children would be looking at a nice inheritance regardless.

    1. Lan

      When have greedy people ever stopped at “nice”? Foul woman, shame she won’t be tossed in some high security prison, she’ll end up at some country club with a 9pm curfew

  5. JudgeYeKnot

    Dear oh dear, she forgot to leave her default filthy solicitor greed behind her as she was elevated to the bench.

  6. Billy

    What she did was wrong but I reckon I’m not alone in feeling compassion for the woman. The money she tried to take for her kids was far, far less than the huge amounts the Quinns have removed and that we will have to pay if it isn’t recovered.
    She’s a broken woman and I feel that even 6 months in jail would have been a big punishment in this case.
    Its hardly as if she is going to re-offend so what is the point? To satisfy others? to stop future judges misbehaving? vengeance?

    1. Billy

      Part of my point was that there are other, more serious, offenders who did far worse than she did and got suspended sentences or much shorter terms. If equality is the issue then she should not be treated differently because she was a judge
      Amazing how judgemental people can be about others and the lack of compassion to ‘broken’ offenders who are unlikely to re-offend is nil.
      I have no problem with conviction however I do feel sentence was disproportionate when one considers the likes of the man that got 6 mths for a random sex assault as long as he paid victim €75,000.
      It really used to be a case of judges getting a reputation as hanging judges but apparently lots more feel that vengeance is key.
      Sharia law might fit will with many here!

      1. Mani

        Billy, many may take issue with your insane logic. Not me. I’m delighted that, if even for a moment, a cocker spaniel has become sentient and taken to commenting online. Who’s a good boy den? You! You are!

      2. Clampers Outside!

        You definitely are mixing up your apples and oranges. She did the crime, she had better do the time.

        In fact, I would go so far as to say she should do more time.

        My reason: She waq in a position of privilege and given the power to punish others while being underhanded herself… that alone deserves a good proper punishment. No sympathy for the abuse of power, I say. No f*cking way!!

  7. Leaning to the centre

    While she is the first member of the judiciary to be convicted of a serious crime let’s not forget Brian Curtin was acquitted on a technicality.

  8. Sidthesexist

    “61-year-old woman born into a modest background where third-level education was not an option”

    That was pretty most people when she was a child. What a dishonest sentiment – entirely misleading.

    The amount of people coming forward with positive character references says a lot about the so-called professional class in that age bracket. They are used to times when back-handers and who you know got you what you wanted instead of honest hard work and study.

      1. TheCitizen

        Anyone have details of who came forward with character references? Prof. McCormack, her orthopaedic surgeon, said he gave her an infection. (Same guy who was highlighting abuse of doctors in Bahrain last year btw.) Any other professionals say what a great skin she was?

          1. TheCitizen

            A calf infection according to the Irish Times.

            It doesn’t however say how the calf got into the room.

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