Phone snatcher on bike had 101 prior criminal convictions

A father-of-two with more than 100 criminal convictions is facing sentence for repeatedly snatching phones from women while he cycled past them on Dublin streets, writes Tom Tuite.

Gary Moles, 25, from Tulip Court, Darndale, Dublin pleaded guilty today to phone thefts on dates in February, March and April this year. He was warned by Judge Anthony Halpin that given the nature of the crime he faces jail unless he can come up with compensation.

The thefts happened at Dorset Street, Nearney’s Court and Parnell Square East in Dublin city-centre’s north side. Dublin District Court heard that Moles, who has 101 prior criminal convictions, snatched smart-phones worth in total about €1,600 from three women’s hands and cycled off with them.

Judge Anthony Halpin described his actions as “a pretty nasty crime, going around on a bike stealing phones.”

“The person has no chance of getting the phone back, he [Moles] is on the bike cycling away. It is not just the phones, it is the people’s lives, they have Facebook and all their numbers,” said, adding, “he has 101 previous, when does the penny drop?”.

His prior offences included theft, drugs and motoring offences, the court was told.

Defence solicitor Stephanie O’Meara said the 25-year-old has had a problem with tablet and cannabis abuse and would benefit from support services. His second child was born recently, the court also heard.

Judge Halpin asked for a pre-sentence report on Moles to be prepared by the Probation Service and he also asked gardai to obtain victim impact reports.

Moles, who did not address the court, was granted legal aid and was remanded on bail to appear again in four weeks.

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