CCTV solves dancefloor phone and handbag theft

A top class CCTV system in a Waterford night club solved a handbag and phone theft which was committed while patrons were out on the dance floor, the Circuit Criminal Court was told in Waterford last week.
Somalian- born Omar Hassan Sharif (43) with an address at No 37, Marine Drive, Tramore, appealed against an eight-month prison sentence for the theft in the Foundry Night Club on March 11th, 2015.
Waterford State Solicitor Frank Hutchinson said a young female student left her phone and handbag on a table and went out to dance at 1am.
When she returned after 10 to 15 minutes both items were gone and the incident was reported to the security staff. CCTV footage was viewed and the appellant was spotted picking up the phone and handbag.
The Gardaí were called and arrested and searched him and recovered the phone. The stolen purse was found hidden behind a sink in the gents toilets. A cigarette lighter, tobacco and €25 in cash belonging to the girl were also found in the appellant’s possession.
For the appellant it was stated that he had two children and had been living in Ireland for the past 15 years. He accepted full responsibility for the theft and co-operated with the Gardai. There was no loss to the student. The criminal conviction resulted in the loss of the appellant’s temporary residential card and he now had to pay €300 a month to remain in Ireland. This jeopardised every aspect of his life and he was unable to support his children.
Judge Alice Doyle said, luckily, the night club had a CCTV system. While here was no loss to the injured party, she must have been shocked to discover her phone and handbag gone.
Suspending the prison sentence, the Judge warned the appellant to stay away from the night club in future.

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