Thieving gran who tried to snatch bag had 133 convictions
A thieving grandmother with a criminal record spanning 40 years claimed she was eating a Big Mac and fries when gardai caught her after her latest attempt to steal.
Kathleen Comerford (67), who maintained she was unable to walk, was seen by officers making her way on foot to a McDonald's after trying to snatch a tourist's backpack in a nearby supermarket.
Judge Brian O'Shea jailed the widow for six months, noting that she had 133 previous convictions.
He said the offences were "mean-spirited" and Comerford was a "bane on decent, law-abiding people".
Comerford, of Sean O'Casey Avenue, Dublin 1, pleaded not guilty to attempted theft.
A garda told Dublin District Court he saw her enter the Oriental Pantry supermarket off Moore Street at 2.10pm last September 13.
She sat close to two young women who were eating and "deep in conversation".
One of the women had a backpack on the chair beside her and Comerford tried to pull it away from her.
The victim pulled the bag back and Comerford left the supermarket.
The woman "couldn't believe that an old lady grabbed her backpack".
When gardai approached Comerford in McDonald's, she was "in the process" of another theft, having just bought food, the officer said. She had walked there unaided, he added.
Comerford claimed she got a taxi straight to the Ilac Centre because she could not walk owing to a medical condition.
She told the court she never went to the Oriental Pantry but went to a phone shop first, then was eating a "Big Mac, chips and Coke" in McDonald's when gardai approached her.
Judge O'Shea also found her guilty of stealing a woman's purse at the SoMa cafe in North Earl Street last June 8.
That victim was viewing something on her phone while having breakfast when the theft happened. Comerford had denied that offence too.
The court heard Comerford's previous convictions dated back to 1968. Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal.