Woman given jail after 'nasty' theft of suitcase from elderly tourist

stolen property

Woman given jail after 'nasty' theft of suitcase from elderly tourist

A woman of no fixed abode who had in her possession a stolen suitcase belonging to an elderly American tourist, and on a separate date abused a Portlaoise garda in the local station, has been given jail sentences of eight months and three months to run concurrently.

At last week’s Portlaoise District Court, Alina Rostas (30), of no fixed abode, Co. Cork, was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, at Portlaoise Garda Station, in December, 2018; and handling stolen property, on August 12 this year.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on December 4, 2018, the accused entered Portlaoise Garda Station and was in a very irate state.

She called a garda “a bollocks” and “a f*cking c*nt”.

On August 12 this year, the gardaí observed her and knew there was a warrant out for her arrest. She had a suitcase with her, which belonged to an elderly American lady. The suitcase contained the injured party’s money, passport, clothes and gifts and had been taken off the train.

The accused had 31 previous convictions, including four for theft.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused’s husband had been drinking heavily on the day of the theft and he was the main protagonist in the crime.

The couple had an argument and were observed by gardaí at the train station and Mr Fitzgerald admitted that his client was in possession of the stolen suitcase.

Concerning the public order matter in 2018, defence said there had been an issue with the accused’s temporary release. Her husband had been present with her in the garda station and defence claimed that the utterance of “bollocks” was directed at him.

“It wouldn’t make sense to direct that at a female,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Defence said that the accused, a Romanian national with two children in care, needed to sort out her domestic situation as there was “a significant other party influence” in her life.

On the public order matter, Judge Catherine Staines said it was an appalling way to address a garda.

Concerning the theft, Judge Staines said it would have been a total disaster for the American tourist to have lost her suitcase and this was a very nasty offence.

The judge imposed a sentence of eight months and three months, to run concurrently, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.