Wednesday 21 March 2018

Tracker app on pregnant victim's mobile led to mugger

Tom Tuite

A TRACKER app on a smart-phone, which was stolen from a heavily pregnant woman during a horrific robbery, led to the arrest of a teenage mugger, a Dublin court heard today.

Christopher Robinson (18), who has an address at Clanranald Road, Donnycarney, Dublin was found guilty of robbery of an I-phone from the woman on the evening of January 21 last. He was a juvenile at the time of  the offence, but has since reached adulthood and had been released on a suspended sentence two months before the vicious mugging.

Dublin Children's Court heard that the woman, who was then 27 weeks pregnant, had been walking near her home, at Collins Park, in Donnycarney and was on her phone talking to her husband when she was approached from behind by two people one of whom was wearing a blue sleeveless jacket.

“I felt like I was being carried along,” she 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 Garda James Nugent at a chip shop in Marino about 40 minutes later.

Judge John O'Connor heard that the woman's phone was grabbed from her and her husband who had heard her screaming arrived on the scene moments later.

The husband said he saw two people running in the distance and after the robbery his wife remembered that her phone could be traced by using the “Find My Friends” app.

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

Gda Nugent said the woman could see the teenager, who was still wearing a blue sleeveless jacket, through the window of the chip shop and identified him as being one of the robbers.

The phone was recovered from a third youth.

Gda Nugent told defence solicitor Gareth Noble that when questioned the teenager 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 that he was not involved.

He said that later at the chip shop the stolen phone had been passed on to him for a second before he handed it to someone else.

Judge O'Connor said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the youth was guilty of the robbery charge.

The youth, who is on bail, had denied the allegations and had already been given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last December for other robbery offences. He was ordered to keep the peace for two years but could now see that sentence activated as a result of his latest conviction.

He is to be sentenced later in the Children's Court for his robbery of the then pregnant woman. A 16-year-old boy is also to sentenced in September for his role in the mugging.

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