Handbag thief had 220 previous convictions

Noel O'Shaughnessy was handed an 18 month sentence by Judge Olann Kelleher 
Handbag thief had 220 previous convictions
The accused man had 220 previous convictions, including 44 counts of theft and 33 counts of burglary.

A woman socialising at Cask on MacCurtain Street during the jazz festival had her handbag stolen by a man who turned up at a filling station shop minutes later buying tobacco with her bank card.

That was on Saturday, October 26, 2019, and on Monday at Cork District Court, 54-year-old Noel O’Shaughnessy was jailed for 18 months for that theft and other crimes.

O’Shaughnessy pleaded guilty to stealing the handbag, which contained the bank card, keys, and a €700 phone at Cask on MacCurtain Street, Cork, and handling the stolen card a short time later to buy tobacco. He also admitted driving off without paying for €35 worth of petrol at the Amber filling station at Leemount, Cork, two days earlier.

Sergeant John Kelleher said the accused man had 220 previous convictions, including 44 counts of theft and 33 counts of burglary.

Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, said the defendant was a chronic alcoholic with serious health issues.

“It is highly unlikely he will resort to a life of crime when he gets out,” Mr Cuddigan said.

Judge Olann Kelleher asked: “How can you say that when he has so many previous convictions?” Mr Cuddigan answered that was in relation to the defendant’s serious health issues.

Judge Kelleher imposed a sentence of 10 months for taking the handbag and using the card, plus a consecutive eight months for driving out without paying for petrol — O’Shaughnessy’s sixth conviction for that type of offence alone.

O’Shaughnessy is serving a sentence since earlier this year for stealing a handbag belonging to a Japanese tourist visiting Cork who was sitting alone at a table outside the Linen Weavers premises on Rory Gallagher Place on Paul Street, Cork.

O’Shaughnessy of Farranferris Park, Farranree, Cork, pleaded guilty on that occasion too.

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