Women avoid jail after posing as gardai for theft bid
TWO women posed as gardai in an attempt to gain access to the home of two elderly bachelors to try and steal money.
Kate O'Brien (21) and Louise Galvin (24) avoided jail when they appeared in court for sentencing yesterday.
O'Brien, of Shoulders Lane, Mallow, Co Cork, and Galvin, of Richmond Green, Buttevant, Co Cork, were arrested on July 20, 2009, as part of an investigation into crimes against elderly people in west Limerick.
Limerick Circuit Court was previously told how one of the men contacted the gardai after the women called to his home near Abbeyfeale claiming to be gardai from Limerick city.
The farmer, who lives with his brother in a remote rural area, was not convinced by the two women, who were not wearing garda uniforms, and shut the door on them.
The court was previously told that when asked why she had targeted the men in this way, O'Brien replied: "To get money."
The bachelors were left distressed by the incident.
Each of the women pleaded guilty to their roles in the incident and it was accepted by the prosecution that their "full and frank admissions" were very significant in the case.
Lawyers representing the defendants, who each have numerous previous convictions, said they wished to apologise for the actions of their clients.
In December 2010, Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing for a year, warning the women that he would impose a prison sentence if they caused "any trouble" during that time.
Yesterday, the judge was told that O'Brien had not been in any trouble since but that Galvin had been convicted of dangerous driving and of a theft offence. However, the judge said these offences were "not the most serious" in the context of the hearing.
He imposed a two-year suspended prison sentence on each of the defendants.