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'Age makes me easy target, he wouldn't rob a strong man' - victim (89)

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An 89-year-old woman who was knocked to the ground by a mugger has said she is proud to have reached this age "but I am sad to say it makes me an easier target".

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Nina MacAuley had just left a hairdressers in Dublin city centre when she was "bashed" into by David Allen (34) who knocked her to the ground.

Ms MacAuley banged and cut her head, and also cut her arm.

She found herself lying on the ground "with tears running down her face" when she realised her handbag was gone.

In her victim impact statement, Ms MacAuley said her nieces now bring her to the hairdresser, when in the past she was happy to walk there. She said she had trouble sleeping after the incident.

"Why should the likes of him do that to the likes of me? He wouldn't do it to a strong man.

"I am proud to reach this age but I am sad to say it makes me an easier target," she added.

The court heard Allen was on bail for robbery when he stole Ms MacAuley's handbag.

Allen, of no fixed abode and formerly of Rathangan Road, Monasterevin, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to robbery at Aungier Street, Dublin, on July 1, 2019. He also pleaded guilty to robbery at James's Street, Dublin, on February 5, 2019.

He has 25 previous convictions, including convictions for attempted robbery, burglary and theft.

Garda Mark Melbourne told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that on the date in February 2019, Allen got into a taxi being driven by Noel McDonald (73).

Gda Melbourne said that when they arrived at James's Street, Allen took out a knife and demanded Mr McDonald give him money. He gave Allen all of the money he had and the accused ran from the car.

In an interview with gardaĆ­, Allen admitted to the robbery and said he was "strung out" on heroin at the time.

He was released from custody and was on bail for this offence when he robbed Ms MacAuley.

Gda Melbourne agreed with Olan Callanan BL, defending, that Allen claimed he had used a pen during the robbery and he had wanted the taxi driver to think it was a knife.

Mr Callanan said his client accepted that the offences were "despicable, cowardly and low". He said his client apologised to both injured parties and was ashamed of his actions.

Judge Melanie Greally said there was "no doubt" there would be a lengthy custodial sentence. She remanded Allen in custody to May 5.

Irish Independent