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Bag-stealing mum with 40 convictions 'needs help'

A MOTHER of one arrested for snatching a woman's handbag in a restaurant got involved with "the wrong kind of people and did their bidding", a court heard.

Kathleen Cawley (25) had built up 40 convictions before the latest incident in south-west Dublin.

She had already been given a five-month sentence for another offence and had been bullied in prison.

Cawley had the theft case adjourned for a pre-sentence probation report at Dublin District Court.

Judge Michael Walsh also fined her €300 and put her off the road for four years for uninsured driving.

Cawley, with an address at Rossfield Avenue, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to theft of the handbag at the Blazin' Grill restaurant, also in Tallaght, on March 30 last.

Separately, she admitted driving without insurance and failing to stop for a garda at the N81, Templeogue, on June 5 last.

Garda Andrew Gibbons said he was called to the restaurant at 11.25pm.

A patron's handbag had been taken and when the garda viewed CCTV footage, he saw the accused. The bag had a purse, hat and cash totalling €117 in it. The property was never recovered.


Garda Lee Doyle said he stopped the accused while she was driving somebody else's car without insurance in the other incident. She had initially failed to stop.

Defence solicitor Jeremy Ring said Cawley had recently been give a five-month sentence for another offence.

She previous convictions for theft, drink-driving and for general motoring offences.

She had been in custody for a month on the latest charges after being refused bail.

Cawley had had a tough time in prison, which had been a "fraught experience" for her.

"She has been bullied by other inmates," Mr Ring said.

"She is a woman who needs help. These are offences of desperation, especially the theft matter. She gets involved with the wrong kind of individual, especially men, and does their bidding."

Mr Ring asked Judge Walsh to be as lenient as he could.

As well as the fine and ban, the judge adjourned the case to September 24 for a probation report and ordered her to pay €150 to the victim.