Garda praised by judge for role in capturing ‘opportunistic’ mugger who stole nurse’s bag

Garda praised by judge for role in capturing ‘opportunistic’ mugger who stole nurse’s bag

Sonya McClean

A GARDA has been praised for his work in investigating the mugging of a Dublin nurse last year.

Jamie O’Hara (21), of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, was jailed for 14 months after he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery on Alderwood Drive, Tallaght, on May 31, 2014. His 23 previous convictions include theft and robbery.

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The 43-year-old woman was on her way home from her shift at Tallaght hospital at 8.45 that evening when O’Hara grabbed her arm and knocked her to the ground. She struggled to hold onto her handbag but the mugger managed to take it and fled in a nearby vehicle.

Garda Darren Rooney told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, that the only details the woman could give him was a partial identification of a “gold-coloured Golf”.

He stopped a vehicle matching the description in the local area later that same evening, but the driver insisted he was the only person who had been in the car all day.

Garda Rooney asked to see the man’s phone and noted that a call was registered from someone called “Ratface” at the same time as the mugging. The driver admitted that this man was O’Hara.

The vehicle was seized for technical examination and O’Hara’s fingerprints were found in it. The nurse subsequently identified O’Hara’s photo after she was shown 12 mug shots of the potential culprits.

O’Hara was arrested and made full admissions, telling gardaí that the driver of his “getaway car” knew nothing about the robbery.

He said he saw the woman and told the man to stop the car because “I was going to get weed”. He hid the bag under his clothes when he got picked up again. Judge Martin Nolan praised Garda Rooney’s investigation which led to O’Hara’s arrest.

He accepted it was an opportunistic robbery, but said it was “pretty violent” and O’Hara must be punished for what he did.

Garda Rooney agreed with Sarah Jane O’Callaghan BL, defending, that O’Hara had been sentenced in April for similar robberies committed over the same period of time and his defence team had requested that this case be dealt with then, but his investigation had not been completed.

Ms O’Callaghan told Judge Nolan that her client had low intellectual ability with inadequate comprehensive abilities. 
She said he was now drug-free, having got treatment for his addiction.


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