| 12.5°C Dublin

'Armed robbery' Woman posing as escort used fake gun to steal €300 and bike from man

The man handed over two €50 notes for the paid sex as agreed and when the two got to a nearby alleyway, Ms Chapman produced the imitation firearm and told the man: “I’m not an escort. I am a Garda and you are on tape.”

Close

Clara Chapman at Ennis Court.

Clara Chapman at Ennis Court.

Clara Chapman at Ennis Court.

A a woman posing as an escort and armed with an imitation semi-automatic revolver robbed a ‘terrified’ man of €300 after the two arranged to meet for paid sex.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Eoin Garavan jailed Clara Chapman (27) of Church View, Miltown Malbay, for four years with the last 18 months of the prison term suspended.

Judge Garavan described Ms Chapman’s robbery as a “ruthlessly planned and a ruthlessly and efficiently executed” set-up and trap.

Judge Garavan said: “An armed robbery is what this was. This man must have been terrified.”

Judge Garavan said that Ms Chapman’s offence involved the “humiliation of the victim”.

In the case, Ms Chapman’s 38-year-old victim replied to an advert she placed on online classified website, Locanto, advertising for paid sex saying that she was a "Irish escort."

Close

Clara Chapman at Ennis Court.

Clara Chapman at Ennis Court.

Clara Chapman at Ennis Court.

The man arrived by bicycle at 2pm in the afternoon of November 22, 2019, near Castlewood Park in Ennis, Co Clare.

The man handed over two €50 notes for the paid sex as agreed and when the two got to a nearby alleyway, Ms Chapman produced the imitation firearm and told the man: “I’m not an escort. I am a Garda and you are on tape.”

The man handed over another €200 and Ms Chapman also took his bicycle.

Counsel for the State Lorcan Connolly BL stated that Ms Chapman “never intended having sex with the man - her intention was to take the money”.

Judge Garavan said that after Ms Chapman produced the fake gun, “it must have been a pretty horrific experience for a young man who was expecting something rather different for his exchange of €100."

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Judge Garavan said that Ms Chapman “would have got away with this but for the good work of the eagle eyed Gardaí”.

Judge Garavan noted that the victim opted not to come to court to provide a victim impact statement “and there must have been an element of humiliation for falling for this in those circumstances”.

Judge Garavan said that the man travelling by bicycle “shows the innocence of him or otherwise”.

Garda Niamh O’Malley told the court that gardaí were able to get camera footage from a passing bus en route to Dublin that captured the injured party and Ms Chapman.

Garda O’Malley also stated that gardaí obtained footage from a nearby Applegreen service station that also identified the two together.

The garda said that a search of Ms Chapman’s home recovered an imitation firearm - an air gun that resembled a Colt 7 automatic pistol.

Ms Chapman has 46 previous convictions and is currently serving a jail term to July 2023 for a drugs-related offence.

Counsel for Ms Chapman, Aaron Desmond BL, said Ms Chapman was placed into foster care at the age of two and both her biological parents suffered from addiction issues.

Mr Desmond said that Ms Chapman became addicted to heroin and subsequently entered a methadone programme.

He said that while serving her current prison term, Ms Chapman has made great strides in education and addressing her addiction.

He said that the mother of two pleaded guilty to the robbery offence and has great insight into her offending.

Judge Garavan said that the two-and-a-half-year prison term starts now so that will be an element of Ms Chapman’s new prison term running concurrently to her existing one.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy