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Pregnant girl (20) snatched woman's bag

A PREGNANT woman who snatched a handbag in the Phoenix Park was caught hiding in bushes with a stolen iPhone in her bra, a court heard.

Leanne Kelly (20) was homeless at the time of the theft from another woman as she walked in the park.

Dublin District Court heard the crime was "opportunistic" and the accused was trying to get money for food.

She had the case against her adjourned for five months for the production of a probation report.

Kelly, with an address at Kilbride Grove, Bray, Co Wicklow, admitted stealing a handbag containing an iPhone 4, a purse and €60 in cash in the incident on May 27.

Garda Rebecca Matthews told the court she was on duty at 9.30pm when a taxi driver alerted her to "a handbag snatch" on Chesterfield Avenue.

The garda went and spoke to the victim, who pointed out a closed part of the park where she said the defendant had gone.


She found Kelly hiding under bushes and the accused took the garda to where she had thrown the handbag.

Kelly took the iPhone and cash from her bra and returned them.

The court heard the victim was "very shaken at the time" but was also "quite concerned for the defendant and her circumstances".

Kelly, who is now five months pregnant, had 25 previous convictions, including four for theft.

At the time, she was homeless and took the bag with a view to getting money to buy food, her barrister Barry Ward said.

The accused had co-operated with gardai, and was "genuinely contrite".

"It was in no way pre-meditated, it was opportunistic," Mr Ward said.

Judge William Early adjourned the case to February and said if a probation report was favourable, he would not impose a jail sentence.