Expectant mother who snatched travel bag from another pregnant woman during childbirth then charged victim’s card avoids jail

A new mother was spared jail for stealing a holdall containing baby clothes and a bank card from another expectant mother who gave birth in a maternity hospital.

Tacey Fitzgerald, 31, snatched the bag as the woman was taken in for surgery to give birth to her child and then ran bills on the victim’s card at nearby shops, in what a court called a “despicable” crime looked.

Both the defendant and her victim were patients at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin at the time.

Judge Bryan Smyth said Fitzgerald “might well” deserve a prison sentence, but he instead issued a six-month suspended sentence after reading positive probation and restorative justice reports.

The defendant, with an address at a B&B on Gardiner Street in Dublin, pleaded guilty to stealing the bag on September 10 last year.

She also admitted to theft and attempted theft at a number of north downtown stores on the same day.

Fitzgerald’s plea was heard earlier this year and when the case came back to Dublin District Court, the judge said the reports were “very positive”.

Defense attorney Paddy McGarry said the defendant understood the crime was very serious; She was “positively involved” with the parole service, made a charitable donation, and did whatever the court asked.

The defendant spoke of being a mother herself, that she was “sincerely sorry” and “understand the stress and worry she caused,” McGarry said.

Fitzgerald had developed drug problems by the age of 25, mostly crack cocaine, and while living in Tallaght she witnessed an attack near her home and ended up on the street. She now lives in a house with her partner and their baby.

“I think it is to Mrs Fitzgerald’s credit for the way she handled these matters,” Judge Smyth said.

She “might well deserve a prison sentence,” he said, but he suspended the sentence for a year.

The court had previously heard that Fitzgerald was an inpatient at the Rotunda and the victim remained in the same ward before being taken for surgery to deliver their baby.

The victim left her holdall at the station, which contained personal items including her clothes, clothes for the new baby, and a phone charger.

After the birth, the victim received text messages from her bank about possible fraudulent transactions on her account.

Her partner returned to the ward to find the bag was missing.

CCTV footage showed Fitzgerald and another person removing the bag from the station, the court heard.

There was further CCTV evidence from Spar on Gardiner Street showing the defendant used the victim’s bank card in a fraudulent transaction.

The court heard there were multiple thefts and attempted thefts when Fitzgerald “tapped” deals with the card.

The successful transactions added up to €165. The total value of the bag and its contents was €350.

A search was conducted at the defendant’s address, during which several of the stolen items were found.

A co-defendant, Laurence Doran, 50, with an address at the same B&B, pleaded not guilty to stealing the woman’s bag.

He has not been charged with any other criminal offenses and his case is due to be heard next month.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/mum-to-be-who-snatched-another-pregnant-womans-overnight-bag-as-she-gave-birth-then-racked-up-charges-on-the-victims-card-avoids-jail-42024386.html Expectant mother who snatched travel bag from another pregnant woman during childbirth then charged victim’s card avoids jail

Fry Electronics Team

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