A woman who took part in a spree of robberies of women over the course of a few hours has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Alice Connors (27) and another woman committed two robberies and an attempted robbery at night in Dublin City Centre.
During the various offences, Connors produced both a knife and a broken bottle.
Connors of no fixed abode but residing at Times Hostel, College Street, Dublin 2, came forward on signed pleas of guilty to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for two robberies and one attempted robbery at various locations in Dublin City centre on October 2 and October 3, 2020.
She also came forward on signed pleas of guilty for two counts of criminal damage at Kevin Street Garda Station, Dublin 2, on October 7, 2020. Her previous convictions include convictions for theft and road traffic offences.
Garda Darren Reynolds told Sinéad McMullan BL, prosecuting, that on the night of October 2, last, Connors and another woman approached a restaurant staff member in the Wicklow Street area and attempted to pull her handbag from her shoulder.
The victim fell while the co-accused pulled at the bag and was dragged along the ground. Connors produced a knife and pointed it at the victim who then relinquished her bag to the women.
Gda Reynolds said that in the early hours of the morning of October 3, Connors and her co-accused approached two other women in the city centre.
Connor held a smashed glass bottle to the face of one of the victims and attempted to take a handbag, but another person intervened and they fled.
The garda said that about five minutes later the two women attacked another woman in the city centre who was dragged to the ground.
Connors threatened to produce a knife if the victim did not give over the bag, but she managed to hold onto the bag although a laptop was stolen.
The victim succeeded in getting possession of the accused’s bag during the struggle and identification of Connors was found within. Connor was also identified on CCTV footage by gardaí and was arrested on October 7.
In interview with gardaí, Connor denied any involvement in the offences. During her detention in the garda station she damaged two cells which were required to be cleaned.
The court heard that the co-accused in this case received an effective term of imprisonment of five years with the final two-and-a-half years suspended from Judge Melanie Greally when her case came before the court earlier this year.
Gda Reynolds agreed with Aoife O’Leary BL, defending, that her client has been homeless for a number of years and trying to care for her younger siblings at the same time.
The garda agreed with counsel that her client’s younger sister died around eight weeks prior to the offences.
Ms O’Leary said her client instruct she is “deeply ashamed” of her behaviour. She said there had been an escalation in her client’s drug abuse and that she was abusing heroin and crack cocaine at the time of the offences.
Counsel said her client began abusing cannabis aged 12 and this led her into committing “petty crime”. She said her client has had significant difficulties with her mental health and in the lead up to the offence and she began experiencing auditory hallucinations.
Judge Martin Nolan said Connors and her co-accused were “equally culpable” of the offences and he cannot see a distinguishing factor between.
Judge Nolan said the court hopes for reform from the accused. He said he can see no reason to depart from the sentence handed down by Judge Greally on her co-accused.
He sentenced Connors to five years imprisonment, but suspended the final two-and-a-half years on strict conditions.