Pregnant woman robbed in Limerick incident 'feared for unborn child'

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Limerick Circuit Court heard details of the daylight robbery

Limerick Circuit Court heard details of the daylight robbery

A PREGNANT woman “feared for the safety of her unborn child” after she was headbutted, kicked in the groin and was grabbed by the neck during a robbery in broad daylight that took place in Limerick city centre. 

Limerick Circuit Court heard the “appalling” details of the robbery, as the accused Danielle McCormack appeared before Judge Tom O’Donnell. 

McCormack, aged 26, of Griffith Avenue, Ballinacurra-Weston, admitted to one incident of theft and three counts of robbery, which occurred between July 31 and October 3, 2015.

On September 23, 2015, the accused approached the victim, who was six months pregnant at the time, at the junction of Mallow Street and Pery Street at around 2pm.

McCormack asked if she could use the victim’s mobile phone, to which the pregnant woman said that she didn’t have one.

The court heard that the victim was “asked if she wanted tablets” and she replied that she wasn’t on tablets as she was pregnant. The victim walked in the direction of Glentworth Street, and later the accused shouted after her. 

The victim walked back, and the accused “caught her by the right arm and told her to hand over the mobile phone”, Judge Tom O’Donnell was told.

The accused “became fearful for her safety and the safety of her unborn child”.

The court heard that the accused caught the pregnant woman “by the neck and squeezed”. She then headbutted her in the right cheek and “kicked her in the groin”.

The assailant “patted her down, feeling the breast area”, and then said to the victim “you have a phone in your bra” before taking her mobile phone and wallet, the court was told.

Citing evidence, John O’Sullivan BL said, after the woman was let go the accused said to the woman: “If you to the guards over this, I will kill you and kick the baby out of your tummy.”

Det Gda Paul Crowley told the court that the woman was “immediately” sent to the maternity hospital where her physical condition was treated as “stable”. The court was told that she gave birth on a later date “without incident”.

McCormack, who has 38 previous convictions, “made full and frank admissions” to robbing a teenager at Arthur’s Quay Park on October 3, 2015.

The victim gave the accused €5 after the assailant said she was going to “stab [her] with a knife”. 

McCormack was arrested that evening. 

The accused told gardai that she was “out of my head on tablets and drink” during another robbery at People’s Park on August 3, 2015 at around 2pm.

Mr O’Sullivan noted that McCormack “showed genuine signs of remorse”.

Mark Nicholas SC, defending, said that the mother-of-two “has significant difficulty with pills”. 

Gda Crowley said that knew the accused and she “cooperated fully with us”.

Judge O’Donnell described the robbery of the pregnant woman as “appalling”. He remanded the matter until March 20 for an update on a probation report.