Women who fought off handbag thief praised at court

A solicitor told Dundalk District Court that two young women had “reacted very well” when they managed to beat off an attacker who tried to snatch their handbags.

A solicitor told Dundalk District Court that two young women had “reacted very well” when they managed to beat off an attacker who tried to snatch their handbags.

Conor McGuill was defending Joseph Bailey (34), with an address at Clanbrassil Street who was before the court on robbery and obstruction charges on November 1 last.

Inspector Leo McGinn said that the two women, aged 19 and 20, were walking at Clanbrassil Street. He first tried to pull the handbag from the 20-year-old but she held onto it and he was unsuccessful. He then attenped to snatch the bag of the 19 year old but was unsuccessful there too. Gardai who arrived on the scene saw defendant dropping a yellow hammer. He initially resisted arrest but was overpowered. Defendant had made a full admission to Gardai.

He said that he had 19 previous convictions.

Solicitor Conor McGuill said that the two women may have seen the incident for what it was, “a desperate act by someone who was not fully in control of his senses”. The two women had stood up to him, he said.

The women were entitled to go about their business without being upset, M McGuill said. A the time his client was in “heroin freefall”.

He had asked him (Mr McGuill) to apologise the two young ladies.

Judge Flann Brennan said, “This is an extremely serious offence. It is no less than high street or highway robbery. He is hugely fortunate that I am the one dealing with him. If this was in the Circuit Court he would be facing a far longer sentence than I could impose. I must, among other things, protect the public.”

He imposed a jail sentence of eight months.