A woman with 22 grandchildren who distracted an 80-year-old home owner while her accomplice stole handbags and cash from the premises has received a two year sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Kathleen Cash (aged 51) claimed she was distributing church leaflets so Churchtown resident Ms Shiela Garvey would open the door to her, letting the hidden teenage accomplice rush through to steal items.
Cash later admitted she had been at the house to commit an offence but claimed she had asked Ms Garvey for food and clothes, denied she had mentioned church leaflets and denied that she had been there as a diversion so her accomplice could run inside.
Cash, of Boot Road, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Churchtown on December 6, 2007. She has 35 previous convictions for mostly similar offences.
Judge Frank O’Donnell said that a report had made it clear that Cash was at high risk of offending and was not a suitable candidate for probation supervision.
In suspending the last year of a three year sentence, Judge O’Donnell said it was clear that Cash’s offending was against elderly and vulnerable people.
Garda Terry Brosnan told Ms Geraldine Small BL, prosecuting, that a teenage boy ran past Ms Garvey up her stairs when she opened the door to Cash and a younger girl.
Ms Garvey told gardaí that Cash had claimed this teenage boy was going in after a dog.
The boy ran back out a few seconds later and he, Cash and the young girl left the scene.
Gda Brosnan said Ms Garvey then realised the boy had taken three handbags from her bedroom, one of which contained €400 cash.
The garda agreed with Ms Marie Torrens BL, defending, that her client’s guilty plea had been helpful with the investigation.
Ms Torrens told the court that Cash, who has nine children and 22 grandchildren, had a very serious alcohol problem which was “out of control”.