Cleaner accused of stealing paintings from artist's Dublin home
The trial of a housecleaner accused of stealing paintings worth over €28,000 from the home of a Dublin artist has been shown a video of the accused claiming that the paintings belonged to her, and that she was planning on hanging them on her wall.
Roza Komorova (46), from Brehon Grove, Ballinteer has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft of the paintings from Louise Mansfield’s home on Brennanstown Road, Cabinteely on September 5, 2011.
In a taped interview with gardaí on the day of her arrest she told gardaí that the paintings belonged to her, but she refused to say how she got them. She denied taking them from the house of Louise Mansfield earlier that day.
When asked what she was planning on doing with the paintings, she said she was going to hang them on the wall in her house.
An example of Louise Mansfield's work
Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, read transcripts of two further garda interviews with Komorova to the jury. During one interview Komorova was shown CCTV footage of Ms Mansfield’s house. She agreed that the footage showed her removing paintings from the house, placing them in her van and driving away.
Detective Sergeant Michael Grogan, who led a surveillance operation at the house on the morning of the alleged theft following a tip-off from Ms Mansfield, told counsel that he and his colleagues stopped and searched Ms Komorova’s van after it left the house.
They found 21 paintings signed “Louise Mansfield” stacked sideways in the back of the vehicle. Ms Komorova said they belonged to her.
Det Sgt Grogan agreed with John Berry BL, defending, that all four detectives on duty in Cabinteely Garda Station that morning took part in the surveillance operation that led to the accused’s arrest
Det Sgt Grogan disagreed with Mr Berry that it seemed “very, very odd” for so many resources to be used in the operation.
“Policemen spend a lot of time sitting in cars waiting for things to pass,” he said.
The trial continues before Judge Mary Ellen Ring and a jury.