A Cork woman knocked at the door of a 76-year-old man at night pretending to be looking for a missing dog and moments she later took part in ransacking the man’s bedroom in a ‘merciless’ burglary.
She was jailed for seven years for her part in the crime.
35-year-old Angelique Arundel of 54 Shannon Lawn, Mayfield, Cork, denied the burglary and she was put on trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
A jury of eleven women and one man took only 41 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict of guilty.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “This lady was a full, active participant in the burglary. Aggravating factors include knowing the man was elderly and vulnerable, using a stunt to get in, confronting and abusing this vulnerable man in his home and showing no mercy or remorse to him.”
The judge imposed a sentence of nine years, backdated to when she went into custody in May 2020, with the last two years suspended.
Inspector Mary Skehan said this crime occurred on May 1 2020 at St John’s, Bull’s Lane, Blackrock Road, Cork.
“It was during the first Covid 19 lockdown.
“He answered the door to a female who stated that she was looking for her dog. He returned to his bedroom and a few minutes later he heard a loud bang coming from the rear of his house and almost immediately the female who had been at his front door entered his bedroom accompanied by Thomas Twohig who had his face covered with a hood. They demanded money from him and he refused to cooperate.
“Ms Arundel ransacked the bedroom. His mobile phone was taken from him. Both Mr Twohig and Ms Arundel continued to trash the room in search of money. They took his bank card, his watch, a cash box and €15 cash. Both of them then left the house.
"She was alarmed by what she saw and contacted gardaí.”
Defence barrister, Desmond Hayes, outlined a dysfunctional background for the accused who said she was the victim of repeated violence over a prolonged period. She became addicted to heroin.
Mr Hayes said she was doing well in prison and expressed her remorse to the victim when she was interviewed by gardaí.
Prosecution barrister Donal O’Sullivan said the view of the Director of Public Prosecutions was that this was at the upper end of the range for crimes of burglary.
Arundel’s accomplice, 39-year-old Thomas Twohig of 19 Colmcille Road, previously pleaded guilty to burglary, false imprisonment and assault causing harm to the pensioner. He was previously sentenced to nine years in prison for the combination of burglary and the two other serious charges – with which Arundel was not charged.
It was not possible to report on this plea of guilty and jail sentence for Twohig until now at the conclusion of Arundel’s trial.
When the cases against the two accused first came to court, there was evidence of the victim being tied up and locked in a room in his own house for 14 hours and was only rescued when his sister called to check if he was alright.
Detective Garda Seán Stack said a woman and a man entered his house and the man hit him in the face and body with a metal spirit-level.
The injured party told gardaí that the woman was going around the house looking for money when the man assaulted him. Det. Garda Stack said the victim was tied up and locked in a room in his house and it was not until lunchtime the next day – some 14 hours later – that the pensioner’s sister called to see if her brother was OK.
Gardaí were then alerted and the investigation commenced.