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Thursday 27 June 2019

Cycling phone snatcher jailed for five months for theft spree

Jonathan Fay’s lawyer said he was in ‘a bad place’ at the time
Jonathan Fay’s lawyer said he was in ‘a bad place’ at the time

A serial thief who snatched phones from women's hands as he rode past on a bicycle has been given a five-month sentence.

Jonathan Fay (26) admitted 14 separate offences, including multiple counts of stealing mobile phones.

Sentencing him, Judge Marie Keane said many of the "opportunistic" thefts were from people "standing on the pavement minding their own business".

Fay, of Empress Place in the north inner city, pleaded guilty to theft and other offences.

Dublin District Court heard the accused had cycled past a woman standing at a bus stop in the city centre on January 14 last year and grabbed her Huawei phone from her hand.

Three days later, he snatched an iPhone7 from another woman walking in the street.

Chased

After one theft, gardai chased and apprehended him.

Fay also admitted shoplifting from a Spar store.

In an incident in October 2017, a man had parked his bicycle on D'Olier Street and returned to find it was missing. Fay was seen on CCTV taking it.

Another bicycle was stolen by Fay from outside Busaras, but that was later recovered.

Fay had previous convictions for theft.

The court heard he had been co-operative with gardai.

Fay had been in a "bad place", having been heavily addicted to drugs, but was now clean, his lawyer said.

He accepted his behaviour was inexcusable and apologised to everyone involved.

Fay was said to be making every effort to move away from criminal behaviour, taking a social studies course and hoping to gain employment.

Judge Keane said there were a "significant number of victims". She fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal.

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