A YOUNG woman who stole almost €1,000 worth of electronic items from an apartment in the city centre after befriending the tenant during a night out is facing the prospect of having to complete 200 hours community service.
Sarah Dowling, aged 20, of Deer Court, John Carew Park pleaded guilty to stealing a Compaq laptop, a Kodak camera and a DVD player from the apartment on William Street in the early hours of June 3, 2011.
Insp John Deasy told Limerick Court the defendant and another woman had met the injured party while socialising at a pub the previous night and that all three had gone back to his apartment afterwards.
He said at some point during the night they left and went to get food at a nearby fast food restaurant and that while there Ms Dowling and her co-accused got possession of the injured party’s keys.
“They returned to the apartment and took anything of value,” he said adding that the total value of the items taken from the premises was more than €2,000.
Insp Deasy added that none of the items were recovered by gardai as they had been “sold on” by the culprits.
Solicitor Darach McCarthy said his client, who has no previous convictions, was addicted to prescription tablets around the time of the offence and he said she had been keeping bad company.
“She wasn’t in full command of her senses at the time,” he said adding that his client claimed she had been given the keys by the injured party.
Judge O’Kelly replied even if that was the case “it was not so he could be plundered,”
Mr McCarthy told the court there was “no chance” that the goods will be recovered and he said his client would not be able to pay compensation to the injured party as her only source of income is €100 per week in social welfare.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said the value of stolen items was “very high” but he noted that Dowling has no previous convictions and he said it would be inappropriate to impose a custodial sentence as it was her first offence.
He said he was considering a community service order in lieu of a nine month prison sentence.
He adjourned sentencing until January 30, next to facilitate the preparation of a community service report.
The judge issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Dowling’s co-accused to failed to appear in court for the hearing.