Handbag thief steals nearly €10,000 worth of property, court hears

A man targeted a number of hotels, restaurants, take-aways, and pubs throughout Galway stealing handbags and selling off almost €10,000 worth of property which included two engagement rings, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Jaouad Khallifi (37 ) with an address given as Rockbrook, Edmonstown Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, and 8 Belview Crescent, Old Youghal Road, Cork, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy last Monday and pleaded guilty to a plethora of charges.

Garda Jason Kelly gave evidence that on August 2 2008 the defendant was found with black bags which contained two engagement rings and an assortment of clothing valued at €3,270 which had been stolen from the Quality Hotel in Oranmore. On that same date, the defendant had entered Kashmir restaurant in Dominick Street where he stole a handbag containing property valued at €450. Then on August 15 2008 the defendant stole two handbags containing various items with a total value of €621 at The Quay’s Bar.

On August 30 2008 the defendant stole a handbag containing €2,000 cash, Nokia mobile phone, jewellery, passport, and driving licence, total value €2,955 from the Eyre Square Hotel. He then went onto the Quality Hotel, Oranmore, where he stole a handbag containing property worth €110.

The court then heard that the Khallifi went on another theft spree on January 10 2009 when he stole a handbag containing a mobile phone, cash, gloves, two sets of keys, total value €860, from Paddy Burke’s Pub, Main Street, Clarinbridge. He then targeted the Thai Garden Restaurant at Spanish Arch where he stole a handbag containing Brown Thomas vouchers and other property valued at €997. A handbag containing property valued at €170 was also stolen from Supermac’s, Headford Road, on that same date.

Garda Kelly said that Khallifi admitted all the thefts but none of the property was recovered.

Judge Fahy was then told that the defendant has already received a two year sentence on April 7 2009 at Killarney District Court for offences which occurred in August 2008. “He seems to have gone on a spree around the country,” said Inspector Mick Coppinger.

Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor said that her client, a Moroccan national, has been in Ireland for 14 years and “went on this spree” after he lost his employment as a chef due to ill health.

Judge Fahy noted with regret that the defendant has already received two years which is the maximum sentence that the District Court can impose. She then convicted the defendant and imposed a total of 22 months to run concurrently with the sentence already being served.


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