Sunday 15 September 2019

Woman who was robbed and beaten now 'wary of helping homeless people', court hears

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Aoife Nic Ardghail and Declan Brennan

A woman who was robbed and beaten in the city centre is now “wary of helping homeless people,” a court has heard.

The woman was going home from a night out when she was approached by Marese Craig (21) who told her she was stuck in the city and needed money. The victim took her purse and Craig pushed her to the ground.

Craig kicked her in the hip, body and arm and robbed a total of €57 from the bag. The woman later told gardaí that Craig left the scene, followed by a man who had been watching the attack.

Gda Susan Lawlor told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that over a week later the victim spotted Craig in the city centre and phoned gardaí.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman said she is now “wary of helping homeless people” and feels this is a shame because she believes in aiding those in need.

She said she hoped Craig understands the impact of her actions, which she described as “so unnecessary”.

Craig, of Bridgefoot Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court  to robbing cash from the woman at Nassau Street, Dublin on May 26, 2016. She further pleaded guilty to trespass and theft from a then 90-year-old shop owner at ABC Fishing Tackle, Mary's Abbey, Dublin on September 27, 2017.

She also pleaded guilty to robbery of a bank card from a man using a cash machine on Camden Street, Dublin city on February 2 last. Craig shoved the man out of the way and reached around to grab the card before running off.

Craig pleaded guilty as well to a number of other street robberies carried out last March. She has 47 previous convictions, including 20 thefts.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, said his client had addictions to crack cocaine and heroin and committed the crimes to feed her habit. He said she was a young woman who was “beguiled” by a man who introduced her to these drugs after she miscarried her child.

Counsel said her parents were in court to support her and her mother had done everything she could to get her away from this man.

Judge Greally noted that Craig is in custody where she is taking steps towards rehabilitation. She adjourned sentencing to December 6 next.

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