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Woman with 234 previous convictions jailed for robbing pensioner’s handbag

Winnie Cash
Winnie Cash

A woman with 234 previous convictions who stole a handbag from an elderly woman using a walking frame has been jailed for three years.

Winnie Cash (46) targeted the 73-year-old woman after she got off a bus and watched as she made her way home before rushing her to steal her handbag as the victim tried to get into her house.

Cash, of Blessington Road, Tallaght Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing the bag and trespassing on the curtilage of a house at Main Street, Baldoyle on November 23, 2015.

She has 234 previous convictions, 165 of which are for road traffic offences.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that a three year sentence for burglary had been imposed on Cash in 2013 and surmised that she would not have been out of prison for long at the time of this offence.

She said this was a particularly nasty offence with some degree of premeditation.

Judge Greally imposed a four year sentence and suspended the final year.

Garda Cian Daly told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that the elderly woman was returning home that evening from visiting her brother in hospital and she noticed a car with two women in it stopped at lights. She thought she noticed one of the women laughing at her.

Gda Daly said CCTV from the area revealed the car, which Cash was driving, drove in a loop of the area and repeatedly pulled in and drove on as the woman made her way slowly to her home.

As the woman started to open her front door she heard her gate opening and was rushed by two women. She said one of them told her: “We are here to help you” but she knew they were trying to rob her as one of them tried to push her in through the doorway.

Her bag, containing a small amount of cash, was taken from her walking frame

Gardai linked the car with Cash and she was arrested and interviewed. She told gardai she did not get out of the car and that her accomplice had taken the bag although the woman's account described Cash taking the bag.

Defence counsel John Griffin BL said Cash wanted to convey her apologies to the victim.

He said Cash had received leg injuries in a car accident as a child and was taken into care after spending a year in hospital. She married at 20 years old but her husband was violent towards her and she spent much of her time in women's refuges before his death in 1999.

She has lost several family members including one sibling who was murdered and a second who committed suicide in prison. He said she had a particularly bad problem with alcohol in the past and had an addiction to heroin at one stage but was now clean of drugs.