Woman jailed for ‘vicious assault’ on Cork city bus

As well as pleading guilty to the assault, Noreen Foley of no fixed address pleaded guilty to six separate theft charges arising out of other incidents.
Woman jailed for ‘vicious assault’ on Cork city bus

As well as pleading guilty to the assault, Noreen Foley of no fixed address pleaded guilty to six separate theft charges arising out of other incidents. Stock image. Pic; Larry Cummins

A 34-YEAR-OLD woman has been jailed for nine months for a vicious assault on another woman on a Cork City bus.

Judge Olann Kelleher said: “This was a vicious assault on a lady on the bus where her phone was taken. The defendant stole the phone to get some money but this was a very vicious assault. It must have been a horrific experience for the young lady on the bus.”

As well as pleading guilty to the assault, Noreen Foley of no fixed address pleaded guilty to six separate theft charges arising out of other incidents.

Defence solicitor Shane Collins-Daly said Foley had an addiction to prescription medication and then went on to obtain tablets illegitimately.

“She accepts she is guilty of all these offences. She apologises. She would have been in the throes of addiction.”

“To the lady with the phone who was assaulted, she wants me to pass on her apologies.

“I am asking you to structure a sentence to give her light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr Collins-Daly said.

Judge Kelleher said, “I appreciated she may have addictions, but she cannot take the law into her own hands and steal from people trying to make a living in Cork.”

Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background to the case at Cork District Court.

“On September 17, 2021, while travelling on Bus Éireann at MacCurtain St, Cork, she grabbed a Huawei phone and dragged it from the hand of the woman who owned it.

“The owner of the phone followed Noreen Foley to retrieve her phone.

“Ms Foley grabbed her by the hair and dragged her. This spilled out onto the street, where she pushed her onto the pavement, causing her to hit her head on the path.

“The defendant then hit this woman while she was on the ground.”

At this point in the evidence, the judge questioned whether it was not a more serious assault with which the accused was charged. Sgt Kelleher confirmed that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that the defendant be prosecuted for a simple assault, contrary to Section 2 of the Non-fatal Offences Against the Person Act, rather than anything more serious.

Sgt Kelleher went on to describe other offences, on different dates, committed by Noreen Foley.

They included a relatively recent incident at Tesco Express at Dennehy’s Cross on May 30, where Foley carried out a shoplifting incident with another woman and they took €160 worth of items without paying.

On December 6, 2019, at Dunnes Stores on Patrick’s St, she stole €770 worth of clothing, wheeling the stolen property out of the store without offering payment. She was stopped outside the premises as she was getting into a car and the stolen property was recovered.

The same woman left Maxol on Douglas Road without paying for fuel, food, and flowers on November 1, 2019.

On September 7, 2019 she stole groceries at Moynihan’s store in Rathduff. In that case, she initially attempted to pay, but the member of staff believed that what was offered was a counterfeit note.

Finally, on September 13 she stole €105 worth of items at the First Plus pharmacy in Tower.

Sgt John Kelleher said the accused had 35 previous convictions, including 20 for theft.

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