Man on bail knocked 89-year-old woman to ground and stole handbag

David Allen (34) ‘bashed’ into Nina MacAuley as she left hairdressers in Dublin city centre

A man was on bail for robbery when he knocked an 89-year-old woman to the ground and stole her handbag, a court has heard.

Garda Fionnuala Lawlor told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that Nina MacAuley (89) had just left a hairdressers in Dublin city centre when she was "bashed" into by David Allen (34), who knocked her to the ground.

Ms MacAuley banged her head and suffered cuts to her head and arm. She found herself lying on the ground “with tears running down her face” when she realised her handbag was gone.

In her victim impact statement, which was read out in court, Ms MacAuley said her nieces bring her to the hairdresser now when in the past she was happy to walk. She said she had trouble sleeping after the incident.


“Why should the likes of him do that to the likes of me? He wouldn’t do it to a strong man,” she said. “I am proud to reach this age but I am sad to say it makes me an easier target.”

Allen, of no fixed abode and formerly of Rathangan Road, Monasterevin, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Aungier Street, Dublin, on July 1st, 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to robbery at James Street, Dublin on February 5th, 2019. He has 25 previous convictions, including convictions for attempted robbery, burglary and theft.

Garda Mark Melbourne told Ms McGillicuddy that on the date in February 2019, Allen got into a taxi being driven by Noel McDonald (73).

Garda Melbourne said that when they arrived at James Street, Allen took out a knife and demanded that Mr McDonald give him money. He gave Allen all of the money he had with him and the accused ran from the car.

In interview with gardaí­, Allen admitted to the robbery and said he was “strung out” on heroin at the time. He was released from custody and was on bail for this offence when he robbed Ms MacAuley.

Garda Melbourne agreed with Olan Callanan BL, defending, that his client claimed he had used a pen during the robbery and that he had wanted the taxi driver to think it was a knife.

Mr Callanan said his client accepted that the offences were “despicable, cowardly and low”. He said his client apologised to both injured parties and was ashamed of his actions.

Judge Melanie Greally said there was "no doubt" there would be a lengthy custodial sentence. She ordered a probation report and remanded Allen in custody to May 5th.