Stephen Bourke and Brion Hoban
A mother-of-four who took part in two violent robberies in the space of half an hour on the same night has received a fully suspended sentence.
Kelly Noble (36) of Hogan Court, St Peter’s in Dublin, pleaded guilty to robbing a woman’s handbag and a €20 note from her friend on South Great George’s Street, Dublin City centre, at a quarter past midnight on September 24th, 2017.
She also pleaded guilty to robbing a man on the same street at a quarter to one the same night, after which the victim had to be taken to hospital by ambulance. She also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted robbery.
Noble previously spent six years in prison for manslaughter, one of 20 previous convictions which include convictions for theft, trespass, possession of drugs, failure to appear and public order offences.
Passing sentence on Thursday at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Melanie Greally said Noble was acting under the instructions of a male accomplice at the time, but is responsible for her own actions.
Judge Greally said these kinds of offences cause “great anxiety” to people conducting their day-to-day lives. She said these were not in any way “inconsequential offences”.
She said she would sentence the accused on the basis that she had had a “traumatic” early life, but had now achieved some stability and reformed relationships with her children and her mother.
Judge Greally sentenced Noble to four years imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions including that she follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months.
Attack at ATM
At a previous sentencing hearing, Garda Seán Murphy of Pearse Street Garda Station told the court that Noble approached two women and a man who had gone to take cash from the ATM outside Dunne’s Stores on the Dublin street around 12.15am.
In a statement, Ms Nicola Connolly, said Noble “kept asking them for one euro” and was “extra pushy and aggressive”. They continued to say no and a verbal argument broke out.
“Ms Noble grabbed hair from the crown of my head and pushed it to the ground. I couldn’t get up, this lady was holding me down,” Ms Connolly told gardaí.
When a man in the group tried to go to her help, he was punched in the back of the head by a man who was with Noble.
When Ms Connolly finally got loose, Noble had her handbag, but continued to demand money and follow her and her friend. They only managed to get away from Noble and her accomplice when the bouncers at The George nightclub let them inside and they called gardaí.
Garda Murphy told the court that just half an hour later, at 12.45am, Noble was identified on CCTV approaching Darragh Murphy outside the JT Pims bar, also on South Great George’s Street. The person who was with her struck Mr Murphy.
“I remember getting a punch to the right side of my face and landing on a wall and hitting the left side,” Murphy told gardaí.
He was taken by ambulance to St James’s Hospital and woke up the next morning to find his wallet missing.
Noble could be seen on CCTV going through the injured man’s pockets and taking his wallet, Gda Murphy confirmed.
The accused woman appeared in court on foot of a bench warrant, the second issued in respect of her failure to appear on the previous sentencing date.
Keith Spencer BL, defending, said she had developed an “ostrich mentality” about appearing in court about the matter because of a change in her lifestyle since then.
“In the last four years I’ve tried to change my life,” Noble said, addressing the court. “I was living in hostels and sofa-surfing and all over the place. When I got pregnant three years ago I turned my life around.”
The mother-of-four said her accomplice made her do it. “He controlled my mind, he controlled everything. I had nowhere to go. I was helpless, I was on drugs – I had to do what I was told.”