Sunday 25 August 2019

Mum and daughter stole €4,200 from sick family friend who trusted them with bank card to run errands

Ulster Bank in Lucan
Ulster Bank in Lucan
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A mother and daughter have been jailed for stealing money from a sick family friend who entrusted them to run errands with her bank card while she was in hospital.

Emily (43) and Freda Byrne (23) stole a combined €4,200 from the woman over a three-week period after being given the victim's bank card to go shopping.

Each woman stole the money without the other's knowledge and for different reasons - the mother to clear her own cannabis debt and the daughter for "frivolous" purchases.

Judge David McHugh said it was a "despicable crime" against the victim (58), who was in a relationship with Emily Byrne's adoptive father.

He jailed the mother, Emily Byrne, for six months and her daughter, Freda, for three months. The women, both of the same address at Ballymakealy Grove, Celbridge, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to theft from Marie O'Connor.

Blanchardstown District Court heard Emily Byrne withdrew €3,500 at Ulster Bank, Main Street, Lucan on dates between November 10 and December 1, 2014.

Freda Byrne withdrew €700 at Bank of Ireland, Main Street, Lucan on November 26, 2014.

Sgt Mary Doherty told Blanchardstown District Court the victim was on friendly terms with both women at the time. Ms O'Connor was hospitalised when the thefts happened.

Ms O'Connor was "unwell" and the accused had "come to her assistance on a number of occasions", defence solicitor Margaret McEvilly said.


Emily Byrne had become addicted to cannabis, she said. She was treated for cannabis addiction and borderline personality disorder, which may have "hampered her thinking about the consequences of her actions". She was now clean of the drug.

Judge McHugh said the crime had been despicable in both cases and imposed sentence. He refused to suspend any of the sentences and set bail terms in the event of an appeal.

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