A FORMER hotel worker who used an open umbrella to hide a female accomplice as she lifted a woman's wallet in a post office was hoping to get into a relationship with her, a court heard.
Adrian Vaduva (41) claimed the woman convinced him to steal the wallet which contained €848, but he didn't gain from the theft.
A court heard the victim's purse contained her rent money and she had to go to St Vincent de Paul for help to pay her bills. Vaduva, of Bremore Pastures Park in Balbriggan, had admitted to stealing a woman's purse but he appealed the severity of a six month sentence.
He broke down in tears as Judge Carmel Stewart suspended the six month sentence. Garda Darragh Lynch told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court the victim was in Balbriggan Post Office on July 31 last year and she briefly left her wallet on the counter.
Gda Lynch said Vaduva opened up an umbrella inside the post office to shield a female accomplice who then lifted the wallet, which contained €848 in cash as well as the victim's driving licence, bank cards and GNIB card.
The garda said the victim has a partner and three children and they live on social welfare. The money in her wallet was for rent, bills and food and she had to go to St Vincent de Paul for help after it was stolen.
Gda Lynch said the woman also had to pay €300 to get a new GNIB card and €40 for a replacement driver's licence.
He said Vaduva was later questioned but he made no admissions and the cash or bank cards were not recovered. The court heard Vaduva has eight previous convictions, mostly for road traffic matters.
Defence lawyer said Vaduva has lived in Ireland for 12 years and worked in bars and hotels until three years ago when he lost his job.
He was hoping to get into a relationship with his female accomplice and he only knew her first name. Gardai have been unable to identify her. The court heard that Vaduva had €880 in court for the victim and was sorry for his behaviour.
Suspending a six month sentence, Judge Stewart said she hoped the reality of a sentence had brought the defendant to his senses.