herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Thief stole €300 Christmas cash as victim slept in A&E

Rachel Keogh
Rachel Keogh

A thief who preyed on a sleeping woman in hospital, stealing Christmas money she had saved for her children, has been warned to pay full compensation.

The victim was attending a hospital emergency ­department when Rachel Keogh (25), ­started up a conversation with her ­before taking cash and vouchers from her while she slept.

The distraught woman said that the €300 - as well as a toy shop voucher - was all she had to buy Christmas gifts for her children.

Paid

Judge Grainne O'Neill granted an adjournment after Keogh had been before Dublin ­District Court several times over the theft.

However, she said the money must be paid on the next date or the case would be "dealt with".

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

The incident happened at the Emergency Department of the Mater Hospital at 4.30am on October 22 last year.

When the case came back ­before the court, defence ­solicitor Aine Flynn said ­Keogh had previously had money in court but it was not accepted and she did not have it now.

The result, Judge O'Neill said, was that no compensation had been paid.

"Make sure she has it on the next day or it will be dealt with," the judge told Ms Flynn.

Previously, Garda Sergeant Paul Keane said both the accused and the victim were at the hospital at the time of the theft.

Keogh engaged the woman in a conversation first, then the victim fell asleep.

Distressed

While the woman was ­sleeping, Keogh went through her ­belongings and stole her purse, containing the cash and ­vouchers.

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

The injured party was "­extremely distressed" after discovering her property was missing and said because of the theft, her children would not receive Christmas presents.

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