81-year-old lady afraid to go out after robbery

A LUCAN resident has been jailed for 18 months for robbing an 81-year-old woman who was afraid to leave her home after the offence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the elderly woman had a pacemaker installed shortly before Vasile Marin (24) robbed her of a purse containing €300. She was afraid to leave her home for six months after.

Dublin Criminal Courts of Justice 2 October 2016

Marin, a father-of-two with an address at Foxborough Close, Lucan, pleaded guilty to robbery at Sutton Grove, Sutton on September 10, 2016.

Marin was identified on CCTV standing behind the elderly woman at Eurospar in Bayside on the day in question.

Garda Cian Daly told Gráinne O’Neill BL, prosecuting, that the woman had gone to the Eurospar and paid for her groceries in cash.

As she was making her way home, Marin came from behind, putting one hand around her back and the other into her trolley. He took her purse and ran away.

Marin has two previous convictions for theft. His defence counsel said Marin had been “motivated by desperation” as he owed money for a gambling debt.

On Wednesdasy, Judge Melanie Greally imposed a three year sentence with the final 18 months suspended for that period.

She noted that Marin had no history of employment, with the exception of casual gardening, and was in receipt of disability benefit for depression.

She said that “generally speaking” someone with a limited criminal record like Marin would not expect to receive a custodial sentence.

“However elderly people have to be protected from being targeted by opportunistic persons regardless of whether they have debt”, she said.

The woman told gardaí she had recently undergone heart surgery and was so shocked and terrified that she was unable to open her front door and had to get help.

In a victim impact statement read out on her behalf, the woman said she still doesn’t like talking about the ordeal and that she had been terribly frightened.

“I was shaking for the day, I was in bits. It was six months before I went outside again,” she said.

The woman said she eventually made a decision not to let the robbery take over her life and that she is now “fully over it” but that she doesn’t deal with cash anymore and that her home help generally does the shopping.

Marin made full admissions on arrest and told gardaí he was sorry for what he had done.

He said he had been a bit drunk and wasn’t aware of what he had been doing.

His barrister provided a number of references including one from Marin’s pastor where he attends church regularly.

The court heard that Marin was born in Romania and came to Ireland with his family in 2002.

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