Man who ‘targeted’ and stole from four elderly ladies is jailed
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Man who ‘targeted’ and stole from four elderly ladies is jailed

A man who “targeted” four elderly ladies walking on their own and stole from them has been jailed for six years, reports Brion Hoban.

Joseph Curran (22) stole bags from all four ladies, knocking three of them to the ground in the process, including a woman in her 80’s.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that two years prior to these offences, he was caught during a burglary and ultimately fled from the window of a bathroom he had locked himself inside after the homeowner tried to grapple him.

Curran of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to robbery at a location in Crumlin, and theft at Walkinstown Avenue, Walkinstown, both on June 22, 2021.

He also pleaded guilty to two robberies at Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, on September 16, 2021. He had previously pleaded guilty to burglary at Shelton Park, Kimmage, on October 10, 2019.

Curran has 65 previous convictions, including convictions for robbery, burglary, criminal damage and possessing stolen property.

Passing sentence on Thursday, Judge Melanie Greally noted that Curran was on bail during the offending in 2021.

The judge said the robberies and theft were aggravated by the ladies being targetted due to their age and vulnerabilities, and due to the impact of the offences on the four women.

She said she took into account that he has tested negative for illegal substances while in custody and the content of a probation report which indicates he is motivated to cease his offending.

Judge Greally sentenced Curran to eight-and-a-half years imprisonment, but suspended the final two-and-a-half years of the sentence on strict conditions.

Garda Gary Cleary told Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, that on the morning in June 2021, a 76-year-old woman was on her way to mass in Crumlin Church when she was pushed to the ground with such force that she hurt both her wrists, but suffered no ongoing injuries.

Curran took her bag and continued running away. The bag contained cash, a bank card and three sets of house keys.

Garda Cleary said on the same date, a 67-year-old woman was on her way to work and was walking along Walkinstown Avenue when she noticed a shadow behind her.

Curran snatched her handbag from her hand and fled the scene.

She rang gardai and broke down in tears.

Her bag had contained cash, a bank card, various keys and her phone.

Garda Cormac O’Donnell told Ms Collard that on the date in September 2021, a woman in her 80’s was walking around a corner on Beechwood Avenue. The next thing she could remember was coming to with swelling to her head and her bag gone.

Her bag contained her phone, keys and cards. She has no memory of the robbery and has no ongoing injuries.

Garda O’Donnell said on the same day in the same location, a 72-year-old woman felt someone grab her bag. She hit the ground and he was already running away.

Curran was identified by gardai in all cases on CCTV footage obtained from the various areas.

He was arrested following the final robbery and was refused bail.

Marc Thompson BL, defending, said that four elderly ladies being “targeted” by a man “jumps off the page as being distasteful and obviously very wrong”. He said his client had instructed him to apologise on his behalf to each of the four women.

Counsel asked the court to take into consideration his client committed the offences while in the throes of an addiction and to feed his habit.

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