A GRANDMOTHER who broke into a man's house with a flowerpot and took property was on medication and had little recollection of what happened, a court has heard.
Jacqueline O'Dempsey (52) smashed the front window at 3am, got in with an accomplice and tripped the power. She was gone before gardai arrived but was caught on CCTV.
Judge Hugh O'Donnell adjourned the case against her at Dublin District Court for a pre-sentence probation report.
O'Dempsey, with an address at Turret Road, Palmerstown, admitted causing criminal damage at the house at Convent Lawns, Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot on September 12 last.
She also pleaded guilty to handling stolen property including a diabetic testing machine, rosary beads, jewellery box, gold-plated watch, silver necklace, mobile phone, candlestick holder, wind-chimes and CDs.
Garda Malachi McGarvey told the court the victim was out of his house when the accused went there at 3am.
She knocked on the door several times to ensure nobody was home, then went into a neighbouring garden, where she got a clay flower pot which she used to smash the front downstairs window.
The alarm went off and the accused returned a short time later with a second woman.
Both of them entered the house through the broken window and once inside, they tripped the power to silence the alarm.
This did not work, however, and instead it turned off the lights. Once inside, they stole a large amount of property from the house.
The pair were unaware that a hidden CCTV camera was recording them until the power went off.
A neighbour called the gardai but the suspects had left the scene by the time they arrived.
The owner provided footage of the incident and the accused was identified.
Two days later, gardai searched her house with a warrant and found the property. O'Dempsey made admissions but did not name her accomplice and denied all knowledge of the outstanding property.
She had no previous convictions of any kind.
The accused had six children, 14 grandchildren and had worked in a supermarket for 11 years.
“It is a bit late to be embarking on a life of crime”, Judge O'Donnell remarked.
The accused, who was going through a divorce, had been taking a combination of anti-depressant medication and sleeping tablets at the time, her solicitor Danny Nolan said.
She had little memory of the night in question but accepted she broke into the house. The incident was out of character for her, she was extremely apologetic and embarrassed, Mr Nolan said.
“She is a very vulnerable and fragile lady and is totally alone”, he added.