Woman (81) didn't leave her home for six months after 'terrifying' robbery

An 81-year-old Dublin woman was afraid to leave her home for six months after she was robbed on her way home from the shops, a court has heard.

The woman had had a pacemaker installed shortly before the incident where she was followed home by a man who stole her purse, containing around €300.

Vasile Marin (24) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Sutton Grove, Sutton on September 10, 2016.

The court heard that the father-of-two with an address at Foxborough Close, Lucan 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.

She put her groceries and her purse containing around €300 into her shopping trolley and began making her way home.

A short distance from her house, a man came from behind, putting one hand around her back and the other into her trolley. He took her purse and ran away.

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

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.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned the case for sentencing to February 27 next and ordered a probation report to be prepared. She warned Marin to expect some element of custody when he is sentenced.

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