Woman (89) with dementia let burglar into house 'to use toilet'
A burglar took advantage of an 89-year-old woman with dementia by trying to steal from her after being let into her home to use the toilet.
Carmen Nicolae (20) was caught coming down the stairs carrying the victim's belongings when the woman's daughter arrived at the house.
Judge John Cheatle gave Nicolae a five-month suspended sentence when she appeared before Dublin District Court.
The accused, a Romanian mother-of-two with an address at Rosevale Court, Blakestown Road, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to burglary.
Gda Ciaran O'Neill said Nicolae called to the home of the victim at Lower Dodder Road, Dublin 14, at 3.30pm on April 16 last year.
She asked if she could use the toilet and the woman allowed her upstairs.
The victim's daughter came into the house and met Nicolae coming down the stairs with "a number of items belonging to the injured party", Gda O'Neill said.
Nicolae let the items drop and ran out of the front door, but was later identified on CCTV footage.
Nicolae made full admissions when arrested and charged.
There was no evidence of any sort of "force or malice" used by the accused, her barrister Conor Burke said.
The property was dropped when she was confronted by the victim's daughter.
It seemed "more opportunistic than anything else", Mr Burke said.
The court heard that Nicolae was already in prison for another charge - attempted theft - having gone inside days after giving birth to her second child.
Mr Burke asked the judge to take into consideration that the items had been recovered and there had been no confrontation with the victim.
Judge Cheatle said he disputed that there was an absence of malice.
"I think it was a particularly egregious crime to take advantage of a lady aged 89 with dementia, and the accused knew full well what she did," he said.
The judge suspended the five-month sentence for a year.