Disabled man robbed after woman offered to tie laces

A disabled man had his wallet robbed after a woman offered to help him tie his shoelaces, a court heard.

Belinda O’Sullivan, aged 24, pleaded guilty, at Limerick Circuit Court, to robbing the wheelchair user, on May 25, 2014.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said O’Sullivan, of McGarry House, Alphonsus Street, Limerick, had “an appalling record”, having amassed 102 convictions.

O’Sullivan, who knew the victim, robbed him on Lord Edward Street, Limerick, after approaching him with an accomplice. The victim, who has cerebral palsy, was asked if he needed help tying his shoelaces. O’Sullivan then took his wallet and struck him in the face. He became distressed and was helped by two passers-by, who called gardaí.

“A specially trained garda and a disability advocate had to be called to deal with the man,” the judge said.

O’Sullivan initially told gardaí that she “was trying to help the man” in the wheelchair.

She later admitted robbing him and expressed remorse.

Judge O’Donnell praised the male victim, “who, despite his difficulties, gave an excellent account of what happened to gardaí”.

“The victim felt that the accused saw him as an easy target,” the judge said.

Reading the man’s victim-impact statement, Judge O’Donnell said he “was nervous for a period afterward” and has “started building up his confidence”.

O’Sullivan, who took ill during the sentencing hearing, also appeared in court for the activation of two previously suspended, consecutive sentences for robbery.

Judge O’Donnell remanded her in custody to June 1.


Another episode, another incredible Cork woman. The tale of Mother Jones, the famous union organiser and activist against child labour in 19th century America.Five things for the week ahead: RTÉ showcase another incredible Cork woman

Holger Smyth part-owns and runs Inanna Rare Books, which has recently opened a ‘rare book lounge’ at the former Hawthorn creamery near Drimoleague, Co Cork.We sell books: Cream of the book crop sold from former co-op

Milton Jones talks hecklers, Hawaiian shirts and the world’s favourite clever Irishman with Richard FitzpatrickMilton Jones: When one line will do just fine

After almost 70 years of trying the search goes on, but so far nothing has been found.Sky Matters: Whether we are alone in the Universe has exercised many great minds

More From The Irish Examiner