Letterkenny handbag thief is jailed

October 5, 2023

A Letterkenny man who stole a woman’s handbag containing €280 in cash as well as personal property including her passport has been jailed.

Matthew Lafferty appeared at Letterkenny District Court in connection with the incident on March 8, 2023.

Lafferty, a 35-year-old, with an address at Calhame, Letterkenny, is currently serving a prison sentence and is due for release on November 27, the court heard.

Lafferty tendered a guilty plea after being brought to court by prison officers.

Sergeant Jim Collins outlined the facts to the court. Lafferty entered the Four Lanterns at Lower Main Street in Letterkenny at 4.10pm and stole an unattended handbag, which was valued at €40.

The handbag contained €280 in cash, a passport, keys, a USB pen and bank details.

Lafferty was identified after CCTV was viewed. At a later date, Lafferty told Gardai where he had dumped the bag. The bag and the property, with the exception of the cash, was recovered and returrned.

Solicitor for Lafferty, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said his client had gone through a ‘traumatic’ personal issue recently. He said his client has changed his ways while in prison, where he is engaged in the gym and working in the kitchen.

“He is receiving certain assistance in prison,” he said, adding that these matters should have been dealt with at a prior court date.

Lafferty also pleaded guilty to stealing €25.47 worth of groceries from Aldi, Gortlee, Letterkenny, on October 19, 2022.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said the taking of the handbag was an invasion of another person’s privacy. Lafferty was convicted and sentenced to two months in prison from Wednesday’s date. The theft from Aldi was marked as taken into consideration by Judge Cunningham.