A man serving a jail term for conning an 85-year-old woman into getting in to her home to steal her handbag had one year added to that yesterday for his part in a similar crime against an 84-year-old woman.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a one-year consecutive sentence on Stephen Hogan, aged 43, of 61 Ashbrook Heights, Togher, Cork, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Hogan has been serving four years, with the last two years suspended, since February for entering the house at Maryborough, Douglas, Cork, as a trespasser to commit a theft on September 19, 2015.
The offences to which he pleaded yesterday were for handling a stolen bank card and using it at various locations throughout Cork to steal over €1,000.
“This was an extremely mean type of crime stealing from this elderly lady. At her age she was probably overly trusting. She was a very vulnerable person,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
Detective Garda Aonghus Cotter testified that a person — unidentified by the injured party — got into the home of the 84-year-old woman on the pretext that he was carrying out work and he stole her handbag.
Hogan was not charged with entering the house or stealing the card. He pleaded guilty to handling the stolen card and using it in Cork at various locations and in various ATM transactions to cause her a loss of over €1,000.
To make matters worse, another person who was not before the court, used the card throughout Kildare and Dublin in August 2015 and clocked up thefts of over €8,000.
Det Gda Cotter said the bank reimbursed the woman in full for over €9,000 stolen from her. The detective said the woman’s family were concerned about people calling to her home when she was alone and taking advantage of her.
Hogan was on bail for the other crime when he took part in this one. For that reason the sentence was made consecutive.
Sinead Behan, defence barrister, said, the accused had spent several months on a programme of addiction rehabilitation and was taking up educational opportunities in prison.
The judge said mitigating factors included the plea of guilty because that spared the distress that would have been caused to the elderly victim if she had to come to court to give evidence.
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