By Stephen Bourke
A mother of four has pleaded guilty to two robberies in the space of just half an hour on a weekend night in Dublin four years ago.
Kelly Noble (36), of Hogan Court, St Peter’s in Dublin, admits robbing a woman’s handbag and a €20 note from her friend at a quarter past midnight on September 24th 2017 on South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, and two counts of attempted robbery.
She also pleaded guilty to robbing a man at a quarter to one the same night, on the same street, after which the victim had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.
Noble spent six years in prison for manslaughter, one of 20 previous convictions which include theft, trespass, possession of drugs, failing to appear in court, and public order offences.
Garda Seán Murphy of Pearse Street Garda Station told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Noble approached two women and a man who had gone to take cash from the ATM outside Dunne’s Stores around 12.15am.
In a statement, Ms Nicola Connolly, said Noble “kept asking them for one euro” and was “extra pushy and aggressive”.
They continued to say no, and a verbal argument broke out.
“Ms Noble grabbed hair from the crown of my head and pushed it to the ground. I couldn’t get up, this lady was holding me down,” Ms Connolly told Gardaí.
When a man in the group tried to go to her help, he was punched in the back of the head by a man who was with Noble.
When Ms Connolly finally got loose, Noble had her handbag, but continued to demand money and follow her and her friend Louise Conneelly.
“I thought she was really going to hurt us at this stage. I opened up my handbag, gave her €20 in cash and told her to eff off,” Ms Conneelly told Gardaí.
They only managed to get away from Noble and her accomplice when the bouncers at the George nightclub let them inside, and they called Gardaí.
Garda Murphy told the court that just half an hour later, at 12.45am, Noble was identified on CCTV approaching Mr Darragh Murphy outside the JT Pims bar, also on South Great George’s Street.
The person who was with her struck him.
“I remember getting a punch to the right side of my face and landing on a wall and hitting the left side,” Murphy told Gardaí.
He was taken by ambulance to St James’s Hospital, and woke up the next morning to find his wallet missing.
Noble could be seen on CCTV going through the injured man’s pockets and taking his wallet, Garda Murphy confirmed.
Kelly Noble appeared in court on foot of a bench warrant, the second issued in respect of her failure to appear on the previous sentencing date.
Mr Keith Spencer, BL, defending, said she had developed an “ostrich mentality” about appearing in court about the matter because of a change in her lifestyle since then.
He had her take the stand.
“In the last four years I’ve tried to change my life,” she said. “I was living in hostels and sofa-surfing and all over the place. When I got pregnant three years ago I turned my life around.”
The mother of four said her accomplice made her do it.
“He controlled my mind, he controlled everything. I had nowhere to go. I was helpless, I was on drugs – I had to do what I was told.
Judge Melanie Greally said in light of Noble’s “avoidance of proceedings” she wanted to see a probation report, a prison governor’s report and statements from the services she is availing of.
She set a date of Friday 30th July for sentence finalisation.