Suspended sentence for theft of purse containing €1,000

Opportunistic purse snatcher under ‘financial pressure’, court hears

A man who received a four month suspended sentence this week stole a purse containing €1,000 from an unsuspecting shopper because he was under “financial pressure” after job troubles, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Piotr Blok (38 ) with an address at Knocklahard, Headford, Galway, was brought before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday and pleaded guilty to stealing cash valued at €999.88, a purse valued at €30, a Bank of Ireland card, a Lloyds bank card, and a European health card, the property of Monica Creavin, at N17 store, Terryland, on August 14, 2008.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that at 4.30pm the 75-year-old injured party had been in the store and left her purse on the counter. The defendant spotted the purse and put it in his pocket. Garda Sean Kelly was called to the scene and established that Blok had been in the store as he used a laser card which was traced to him. The defendant was later interviewed and the money was recovered.

Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor said that her client knows that it has been a “nasty act”. She then explained that Blok and his wife had been behind Ms Creavin in a queue and when the opportunity arose he took the purse but kept the money on him. When he met with gardai he handed the money over and brought them over to where the purse was.

Regarding the defendant’s background, Ms Traynor said that Blok, who had been in the country for four years and was married with two children, had been stressed and under “financial pressure” at the time after being reduced to a three-day working week and his wife being let go from her job.

Judge Fahy convicted Blok and imposed a four month sentence suspended for 12 months on condition that he enter into his own bond of €500 to be of good behaviour. He was also fined €300 with three months to pay.


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