A man who stole a handbag from a woman while she was putting her child into the car returned it immediately after she shouted at him as he attempted to leave the scene.
Listowel District Court heard that Christopher Higgins (32) of Lumberjacks, 19 Church Street, Listowel was walking along when he saw the bag.
"It is was opportunistic,” said his solicitor, Padraig O’Connell.
Sgt Kieran O’Connell told the court that the woman was putting her child into the car and had left her handbag on the buggy and saw a man taking it. She shouted and he came back and returned the bag. Mr Higgins was charged with the theft of the bag from The Square on July, 20,2021.
The court heard Mr Higgins has 63 previous convictions but they date back many years. His most recent for theft was in 2011.
Judge David Waters said the “only thing saving him from prison was that he returned it”.
Mr O’Connell asked the court to consider a suspended sentence. He said his client had returned the bag therefore the woman was not a loss.
Judge Waters said that Mr Higgins had a ‘chequered’ history but that it has been some time since he had been in trouble.
The case was adjourned to allow Gardaí to see if the victim wanted to provide a Victim Impact Statement or not. It will be finalised on October 21.