Woman with 151 convictions jailed after stealing from 'shy, introverted' man she met on bus

A woman with 151 previous convictions has been jailed for five months after she stole €900 from a “shy, introverted” man she had befriended on a bus.

Fionnuala Moloney, of 17 Upper Castle St in Tralee, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to stealing money from the man in the run-up to Christmas 2016.

Sgt Brian Harte told Macroom District Court that Moloney, aged 40, was on a Bus Éireann bus from Cork to Ballyvourney on December 6, 2016 when she struck up a conversation with the injured party.

When he got off the bus in Ballyvourney, she also got off and accompanied him to his house.

“Once in the home she took approximately €900 in cash and left,” Sgt Harte said, adding that the money was never recovered.

When interviewed by gardaí she admitted the offence. The court heard that Moloney had 151 previous offences, including some for theft, with the most recent conviction handed down in July 2016 at Killarney Circuit Court, where she received a five-month suspended sentence.

Her solicitor, Seán Cahill, said his client had saved gardaí a considerable amount of work by pleading guilty, but Judge Mary Dorgan said it was “a very mean offence.”.

She noted:

To talk to someone on a bus and go to their home and steal €900. If she had any decency she would have repaid the money. She has made no effort to repay the money.

Judge Dorgan said she wondered whether she should hear a victim impact statement in the case but Sgt Harte said the injured party was “a shy, introverted man.” Judge Dorgan said that made the offence committed “even worse.”

She sentenced Moloney to five months in prison and rejected an appeal to have it backdated to when Moloney first entered custody on January 30.


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