October 29, 2013

A man who dragged a 96 year old women from her bed, beat her and robbed her of €3,000 has been jailed for five years.

The community raised money to help Ms Greta Lilly get back on her feet.

The community raised money to help Ms Greta Lilly get back on her feet.

Thomas Alcock kicked in the bedroom door of terrified Greta Lilly at her home in Buncrana in the early hours of January 5th this year.

The 49 year old father-of-one had only been released from jail a few weeks earlier in the UK before he travelled to Ireland to live in Donegal.

Alcock called to Ms Lilly’s home three times on the day before the robbery looking to buy scrap metal.

However at 12.30am the following morning after smoking cannabis and taking crack cocaine he called to Ms Lilly’s home.

Once inside her bedroom he carried out a horrific assault on the 96 year old woman who lived alone.A Ban Garda outside the house of Margaret Lilly.  (NewspixIrl)

Garda Danny Devlin told Letterkenny Circuit Court that Alcock, of no fixed abode, hit Ms Lilly in the face, dragged her by the hair and also stuffed her own cardigan in her mouth to keep her quiet.

He told her he would kill her if she not co-operate with him.

The attacker, who was hooded, dragged her out of the bed and stole her handbag which contained €3,000 and a gold ring belonging to her mother.

Ms Lilly finally managed to summon help by pressing an alarm which she had around her wrist.

Gardai began a manhunt for Alcock and learned that he may be in a local hotel.

He was arrested with £800 stuffed in a sock outside his bedroom at An Grianan Hotel in Burt.

When interviewed, he refused to co-operate at all.

The court also heard that a local Bureau de Change reported a man had changed €3,500 to sterling, including a number of €100 notes.

He also bought a van and the van-driver became suspicious and contacted Gardai.

The court heard that Ms Lilly was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital to be treated for her injuries but was released.

However, she has since gone to live in residential care where she remains living after her ordeal.

Alcock asked to address the court and said “I feel great shame for what I done. I apologise,” he said.

Judge O’Hagan asked Alcock: did he not realise that the victim was 46 years older than him?

Judge O’Hagan said that if Alcock had not pleaded guilty and was found guilty by a jury, he would have sentenced him to ten years in prison for the burglary charge.

The court was told that the money recovered from the sale of the van had been returned to Gardai and the van could be returned to its owner.

Judge O’Hagan also paid tribute to the “wonderful detective work” and also the local community in Buncrana for helping bringing Alcock to justice.