A TEENAGE holidaymaker took the "opportunity" to snatch cash from another traveller's purse as he waited for his plane at Dublin Airport, a court heard.
Sean Dowling (18) was on his way to Amsterdam with friends when he saw the money in the woman's purse and helped himself.
He was stopped by airport police as he made his way to the boarding gate for his flight to Holland.
Dowling, of Ballyowen Grove, Lucan, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of €250 from the woman at Terminal 2, Dublin Airport on July 9 last.
Judge Denis McLoughlin said he would consider leaving him without a conviction if he did not come to garda attention for another year.
Dublin District Court heard the accused was seen placing his hand in the victim's purse, taking the money and heading for the boarding gate, where he was stopped.
Dowling was working as a plumber after sitting his Leaving Certificate last year, his solicitor Tony Collier told the court.
"He was in the airport, due to fly out on holiday and he was tempted by a situation that presented itself to him," Mr Collier said. "He didn't seek it out, it was opportunistic."
The court heard the money had been recovered and returned to the injured party.
Dowling, who was living at home with his parents, had no previous convictions and was of previous good character.
"This is a young man with a good future ahead of him, he made a very foolish mistake on this occasion and has admitted his wrongdoing," Mr Collier said.
He asked Judge McLoughlin if he would consider leaving the defendant with a clean record.
The judge adjourned the case to September 2012 and said if Dowling did not come to any further garda attention in the next year, he would "probably deal with the case in a certain way".
The judge said he would not grant legal aid until he knew how Dowling had paid for the holiday or if he had spending money.
He said that if the accused was earning less than €300 per week, he could "not afford to go on holiday".
Dowling was remanded on continuing bail.