Thieving mum-of-three preyed on dementia sufferer in house
A Dublin mother-of-three who conned her way into an elderly dementia sufferer's home by pretending she was an acquaintance has been jailed for three years for burglary.
Margaret Cawley (27) knocked at the house with a co-accused woman and a child and gained access by pretending she knew the 84-year-old woman.
The court heard that the elderly woman's sister (75) had been visiting and opened the door to Cawley.
Cawley and her co-accused went into the sitting room, spoke to the home owner as if they knew her and then offered to make tea.
As Cawley went into the kitchen, she stole the 84-year-old woman's handbag from her rollator walker and the co-accused took the sister's bag. The culprits and the child then ran out the door.
Cawley, of Daletree Place, Ballycullen, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and theft at Newcastle Manor Rise, Newcastle, Dublin, last March 14.
She has 17 previous convictions for burglary and is currently serving a 22-month district court sentence. Her co-accused is still before the courts and cannot be named.
Gda Stephen Broderick told Fiona McGowan, prosecuting, that Cawley and her co-accused fled in a Nissan Almera car after they grabbed the two handbags.
Neighbours witnessed the car speeding off and the 75-year-old woman in distress outside the house.
Further witnesses saw two bags being thrown from the vehicle on the Nangar Road, near Baldonnel.
Gda Broderick said he tracked down the Nissan, driven by Cawley, a short dis- tance later and found a walking stick taken from the elderly woman's home in the passenger footwell.
The bags and their contents, including disabled parking discs, prescriptions and bank, social welfare and medical cards, were all recovered.
A cash amount of €100 had been taken.
Gda Broderick told the court that the incident had affected both elderly victims and they were more anxious about being alone.
The garda agreed with James Dwyer, for Cawley, that no violence or threats had been used in the offence.