a LIMERICK man snatched handbags from elderly ladies in the city because he was in the throes of a €150 a day heroin addiction, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.
Judge Carroll Moran imposed a three-year sentence, with the final year suspended, on Denis McNamara, 20, from Curragh Birin, Castletroy.
The defendant, who has 55 previous convictions, was aged 17 when he committed the three robberies on the South Circular Road, Corbally and in College Court, near the University of Limerick on December 9 and 14 2008.
He pleaded guilty to all charges, and one of the handbags was recovered by gardai. However, two other bags, including a Gucci bag worth €900, were not recovered.
Detective Garda Deirdre Morris, Henry Street, said in two of the cases women in their 60s were returning from shopping when they heard footsteps behind them as they walked home.
One of the women was pulled to the ground as she attempted to hold on to her bag, sustaining minor injuries. He apologised to the victims, and admitted it was a “cowardly act”, his defence said.
Now free from heroin, he faced life imprisonment on these charges. However, in imposing sentence, Judge Moran said there would have been no case against him without his admissions, but also said he has a duty to protect the public.
The same sentence was imposed on each charge, backdated to December 9 and they are to run concurrently.