Pickpocket stole rent money and girl's €170 for school trip
A PICKPOCKET stole cash from a schoolgirl who had it to pay for a class trip, a court heard.
Nikolina Nikolova (23) took a purse from the teenager's schoolbag after following her around a clothes shop in Dublin city centre.
She also stole a woman's monthly rent money that she had just taken out to pay her landlord.
Nikolova admitted a spate of thefts amounting to about €2,000 in incidents in the city centre.
Judge Michael Walsh jailed her for 90 days, saying that while she had no criminal record in Ireland she seemed "very efficient at stealing".
Nikolova, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to stealing the 16-year-old girl's €170 at Bersh- ka in the Jervis Centre last February 7.
Gda Michael Ormsby told Dublin District Court that the accused followed the victim around the shop, pretending to buy clothes.
She reached into the victim's schoolbag and removed a pencil case. When she saw what it was, she put it back and took out her purse.
The accused also admitted other theft charges.
The court heard that, on February 11, Nikolova walked up to another woman in the Jervis Centre and stole her purse containing €1,500.
The victim had just taken the cash out to pay her rent.
Nikolova was identified on CCTV footage.
She entered a shop with an accomplice and took a purse from a woman's handbag with €200 in cash as well as bank cards.
On another date, she went to Pull & Bear on Henry Street and took a purse from another woman's handbag while she was looking at clothes. The victim only noticed it was missing when she went to pay.
The accused had no prev- ious convictions in this jurisdiction.
Nikolova, from Bulgaria, came to Ireland with the promise of work but that fell through, her solicitor Anne Fitzgibbon said.
Her father was sick with cancer and her mother had heart problems.
Nikolova was hoping to send money home, the court heard.
She had come here with no money and did not speak English.
She was "extremely sorry" for what happened and had €2,000 compensation in court.
The defendant had been in custody since February 12 as there had been no application for bail.
"It has been very much a wake-up call for her. She promises she will never, ever do anything like this again," Ms Fitzgibbon said.
The judge said: "It was a wake-up call for a number of people.
"The volume of it gives the impression of someone who may not have offended in this jurisdiction, but she seems very efficient at stealing from purses and pockets."
Judge Walsh backdated the sentence to the date the accused had gone into custody.
Nikolova wept as she was sentenced.