A SERIAL burglar who mugged an elderly couple coming home from the theatre has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Stefan Boyle (24), the adopted child of a professor and a teacher, has 95 previous convictions, 57 of them for burglary.
He and an accomplice dragged the man to the ground as he and his wife were walking past the Iveagh Hostel on Bride Road, Dublin and kicked him. They then robbed the woman's handbag.
The couple, in their sixties, had just attended a play at the Gate Theatre.
Boyle was arrested minutes later in the nearby Back Lane Hostel. He told gardai it was "a spur of the moment madness".
"I grabbed him to the ground. She looked more scared. She looked terrified. I didn't like seeing her face," Boyle said.
"I don't do robberies. I do burglaries," Boyle said in garda interview.
Boyle, who is homeless, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery and assault on October 1, 2011.
Garda Shane Noone said the woman's handbag contained her reading glasses, phone, a large amount of change and her Laser and credit cards.
The items were later found on Boyle and his accomplice and returned to the woman.
Gda Noone agreed with Eoin Hardiman, defending, that his client was a serious drug addict at the time and had made a full confession on his arrest.
Mr Hardiman told Judge Martin Nolan that his client had been adopted from Romania as a young child by a couple living in Ireland.
He said he "ran into difficulties" at an early age and was in and out of various schools. He soon started to commit crime and was first before the courts as young teenager.
Mr Hardiman said Boyle and his seven months' pregnant girlfriend were recently made homeless.
Judge Nolan said it was a "very serious robbery" that involved "gratuitous violence" and was "very frightening" for the couple. He accepted that Boyle was remorseful and his "usual ... crime is burglary".