Central Criminal Court
A man who was on bail for robbery when he knocked an 89-year-old woman to the ground and stole her handbag has been jailed for six years.
Nina MacAuley (89) had just left a hairdressers in Dublin city centre when she was “bashed” into by David Allen (35) who knocked her to the ground.
Ms MacAuley banged her head and suffered cuts to her head and arm. She found herself lying on the ground “with tears running down her face” when she realised her handbag was gone.
Allen, of no fixed abode and formerly of Rathangan Road, Monasterevin, Co Kildare pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Aungier Street, Dublin, on July 1, 2019.
He also pleaded guilty to the armed robbery of a 73-year-old taxi driver at James Street, Dublin on February 5, 2019. His 25 previous convictions include attempted robbery, burglary and theft.
Passing sentence today, Tuesday, May 5, Judge Melanie Greally said the offences were serious incidents and involved injured parties of advanced age. She noted that Allen suffered from severe addiction issues and was someone who had a very difficult early life.
Judge Greally sentenced Allen to three years imprisonment for the earlier robbery and sentenced him to five years imprisonment for the robbery of Ms MacAuley.
She ordered that both sentences run consecutive to each other for an effective sentence of eight years imprisonment. She then suspended the final two years of the sentence on strict conditions including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months post release.
In her victim impact statement, which was read out in court at a previous sentencing hearing, Ms MacAuley said her nieces bring her to the hairdresser now when in the past she was happy to walk. She said she had trouble sleeping after the incident.
“Why should the likes of him do that to the likes of me? He wouldn't do it to a strong man.
“I am proud to reach this age but I am sad to say it makes me an easier target,” she said.
In evidence, Garda Mark Melbourne told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that on the date in February 2019, Allen got into a taxi being driven by Noel McDonald.
Gda Melbourne said that when they arrived at James Street, Allen took out a knife and demanded that Mr McDonald give him money. He gave Allen all of the money he had with him and the accused ran from the car.
In interview with gardaí, Allen admitted to the robbery and said he was “strung out” on heroin at the time. He was released from custody and was on bail for this offence when he robbed Ms MacAuley of her handbag.
Gda Melbourne agreed with Olan Callanan BL, defending, that his client claimed he had used a pen during the robbery and that he had wanted the taxi driver to think it was a knife.
Mr Callanan said his client accepted that the offences were “despicable, cowardly and low”. He said his client apologised to both injured parties and was ashamed of his actions.