herald

Monday 22 May 2017

Children's Christmas gift cash stolen while mother in A&E

Judge Fiona Lydon adjourned sentencing for a victim impact statement. (stock photo)
Judge Fiona Lydon adjourned sentencing for a victim impact statement. (stock photo)

A thief stole the money that a woman had saved for her children's Christmas presents when she fell asleep in a hospital emergency department.

Dublin District Court was told that Rachel Keogh (25) had struck up a conversation with the woman before she dropped off.

She told gardai that the €300 in cash and two store vouchers worth €100 were all she had to buy gifts for her children.

Judge Fiona Lydon adjourned sentencing for a victim impact statement.

Keogh, of Casino Park, Marino, pleaded guilty to stealing a floral purse containing €300 cash, a Dunnes Stores voucher worth €50 and a Smyths toy shop voucher, also worth €50.

The court was told the incident happened at the accident and emergency department at the Mater Hospital at 4.30am last October 22.

Keogh engaged the mother in a conversation before she fell asleep.

She then went through her belongings and stole her purse containing the cash and vouchers.

Distressed

She was not caught at the scene, but CCTV footage was viewed and Keogh was identified from this.

The injured party was "extremely distressed" after discovering that her property was missing.

She said that because of the theft, she would not be able to buy Christmas presents for her children.

The court was told the Director of Public Prosecutions was directing summary disposal of the case in the district court.

Judge Lydon accepted jurisdiction to deal with the case after hearing the outline of the allegations.

This means it will be dealt with at the district court instead of being sent to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Keogh had €80 in court to offer in compensation, said her solicitor.

Judge Lydon said she wanted to hear a victim impact statement before finalising the case and asked Gda Sgt Paul Keane if the injured party could be contacted. He replied that this would take a number of weeks.

The case was adjourned until next month.

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