Thief snatched handbag from woman’s convertible

By Fiona Ferguson

A robber who snatched a handbag from a woman’s convertible car on a summer’s day was identified from photos taken by a cyclist who witnessed the crime, a court has heard.

Mark Dwyer (42) told the woman: “Darling, here I am” as he pulled the bag from her car after appearing at the passenger side of her vehicle when she stopped at traffic lights.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 09032017

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

The woman described it happening suddenly “like he dropped out of the sky.”

A cyclist was able to snap some pictures of Dwyer using the zoom on the camera he was carrying.

Dwyer, who has 112 previous convictions, had just been released from prison the previous week.

Dwyer, of Dolphin House, Rialto, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of a handbag at Herberton Bridge, Drimnagh, on July 7, 2018.

Judge Martin Nolan said Dwyer had spotted an opportunity with the top of the car open.

He said a “good Samaritan” had seen him and there had been no great difficulty identifying Dwyer from the pictures.

He took into account Dwyer’s guilty pleas but said he had a terrible record of conviction.

Judge Nolan imposed a two-and-a-half years prison sentence.

Detective Garda Jason Carroll told Philip Rahn BL, prosecuting, the woman had been driving a convertible motor car with the roof down towards Rialto and was stopped at traffic lights.

Dwyer pulled the bag from the passenger footwell of her car. The woman was left feeling shaken and terrified.

A cyclist saw what had occurred, took a camera from his bag and managed to get some photos of Dwyer using his zoom lens. He passed on a disk of the images to gardai who identified Dwyer.

Dwyer was arrested and the woman’s wallet was found on him.

He told gardai he could not remember what happened, that it was a big blur and he was full of tablets.

“I took stupid tablets and did stupid things,” he told gardai, adding that he felt terrible about it.

Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said Dwyer had been in and out of custody since an early age and was never really in a position to tackle his drug addiction. She said he had made great efforts since going into custody to start tackling his problems.

Ms Smith said he had a decent upbringing and had the support of his father.

She said she had been asked to convey his apologies to the victim and asked the court to be as lenient as possible.

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