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Man stole €16,000 after overhearing bank teller instructing customer to return next day for cash |



Man stole €16,000 after overhearing bank teller instructing customer to return next day for cash |

A Dublin man who overheard a woman’s conversation with a bank teller and returned the following day to steal from her has been sentenced to four years in jail.

Joseph Joyce (31) was captured on CCTV inside an AIB branch in Artane on August 26th, 2019, while a bank teller was asking a customer to return the next day to collect €16,000 in cash.

The woman returned to the bank the following day and while stopped at traffic lights on her drive home, a man smashed her car window and stole her handbag containing cash, jewellery and other items.

Joyce, of Springdale Road, Raheny, Dublin 5, initially took a trial date but pleaded guilty last month to one count of theft at Oscar Traynor Road, Kilmore, Dublin on August 27th, 2019.

In a ruling at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Wednesday, Judge Martin Nolan set a headline sentence of five to six years, but reduced this to four years, on account of Joyce’s efforts at rehabilitation and his family circumstances.

Garda Pierce O’Dwyer told Jane Murphy BL, prosecuting, that the injured party withdrew €16,000 in cash from AIB in Artane on the day in question and was driving home, followed by Joyce and a co-accused in a Ford Focus.

While the woman was stopped at a red light, one of the men got out of the car behind her and approached the passenger side of her vehicle.

Wearing a yellow Marigold glove on one hand, he smashed the passenger window with a hammer and grabbed the woman’s handbag while shouting at her.

The handbag contained the €16,000 in cash, an iPhone worth €1,200, $2,000 in cash, €250 worth of vouchers, and jewellery estimated to be worth €200.

Bank notes

The perpetrators’ car then made a U-turn and drove off. Witnesses at the scene called 999, the court heard.

Gardaí later stopped the Ford Focus in Clonshaugh, as it had no tax displayed, and discovered false registration plates on the ground beside the car.

Joyce’s wife had driven to collect him in a black BMW and when this car was searched, gardaí recovered €1,200 of fresh banknotes.

This sum was returned to the victim, who remained at a loss for the remainder of the cash and the other items stolen.

Joyce has 110 previous convictions, including 30 previous convictions for theft.

The court heard that Joyce is currently serving a four-year sentence which is due to expire in January 2026.

A victim impact statement was submitted to the court but was not read aloud.

Gda O’Dwyer agreed with Anne Fitzgibbon BL, defending, that an initial charge of robbery had been replaced by the lesser count of theft.

The garda also agreed that DNA matching the co-accused was found on the Marigold glove, but Joyce’s DNA was not.

Ms Fitzgibbon said her client is married with three young children, the youngest of whom has a serious heart defect which has required multiple emergency hospital admissions.

Joyce, who is from a Travelling background, left school at 12 and developed a drug and alcohol addiction in his teens, the court heard.

This addiction was exacerbated by the deaths of his parents, to the point where Joyce was injecting cocaine with ecstasy, counsel said.

The court heard Joyce has addressed his addictions, attended a treatment centre and is doing very well in Mountjoy Prison, where he is on an enhanced regime and working in the laundry.

His wife and children are struggling to cope without him, counsel said, citing a letter from his wife.

Joyce has completed upwards of 35 education and training courses while in custody, counsel added, and is adamant that he will not re-involve himself in addiction or crime.

Judge Nolan said the offence has had a profound impact on the injured party, noting she has suffered substantial losses.

The judge said theft in the context of violence is a serious matter, but recognised Joyce had taken steps to change his life and a probation report was optimistic for his future.

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