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Friday 19 September 2014

Teen gets six months for stealing iPhone from pregnant woman

Tom Tuite

Published 12/07/2014 | 10:04

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Teen gets six months for stealing iPhone from pregnant woman
Teen gets six months for stealing iPhone from pregnant woman

A stolen phone's tracker app has led to a teenager getting a six-month sentence for mugging a heavily-pregnant woman.

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Christopher Robinson (18), of Clanranald Road, Donnycarney, was found guilty by Judge John O'Connor at Dublin Children's Court of taking part in the robbery of the woman who had her iPhone taken on January 21 last year.

A 16-year-old accomplice was sentenced to probation last year for his part in the mugging at Collins Park, Donnycarney.

Robinson had contested the charge but was convicted following a hearing at the juvenile court .

Judge O'Connor yesterday noted that the teenager, who still denies being involved in the robbery, had written a letter to the court. He said it showed the youth believed gardai had a grudge against him.

In the letter, he said he was sorry for taking part in other muggings but maintained he was innocent of this crime.

Sentencing him, the judge said "it was an appalling crime" and added that Robinson, who came from a good family, had not engaged with the Probation Service.

A tracker app on the victim's smart-phone had led to Robinson being caught.

The woman, who was then 27 weeks pregnant, had been walking near her home and was on her phone to her husband when she was approached from behind by two people.

"I felt like I was being carried along," she had said as she described how two youths were either side of her. She was knocked to the ground and suffered bruising to her face and grazing on her hands as she tried to protect her unborn child from getting hurt in the fall.

She said she was "really shaken by this", but identified the teenager for Gda Sgt James Nugent at a chip shop in Marino about 40 minutes later.

Judge O'Connor was told that her husband had heard her screams and arrived on the scene moments later.

He also saw two people running in the distance, and after the robbery his wife remembered her phone could be traced through the Find My Friends app.

The husband, using his own smart-phone, was able to pinpoint the direction in which his wife's iPhone had been taken, which led them and Sgt Nugent to the chip shop.

The officer said the woman could see the teenager through the window of the chip shop and recognised him. The phone was recovered from another youth who was there as well.

Sgt Nugent told defence solicitor Gareth Noble that when questioned the teenager, who has prior convictions for robbery, admitted being present but denied being involved in the robbery.

In evidence, the youth claimed he had been in the vicinity as two other youths robbed the woman, but he was adamant he was not involved. He said he had the stolen phone for a second before he handed it to someone else.

Mr Noble said the teen is addressing a substance abuse problem which had led to him getting into trouble.

hnews@herald.ie

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