Serial thief and mum of seven was on the run at time of €900 mobile phone thefts in Longford

Accused woman travelled from Co Clare to carry out crime spree

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford Courthouse.

An Eastern European woman and mother of seven who travelled to Longford from Ennis to steal five mobile phones was on the run from authorities in her homeland at the time of the incident,

A mother of seven who had been on the run pending the execution of a European arrest warrant for robbery travelled to Longford from Co Clare to steal five mobile phones worth almost €900, a court has been told.

Julietta Rostas, of Apartment 2 Dunnahinse, Ennis, Co Clare walked out of Tesco, Longford Shopping Centre with the phones concealed in an aluminium lined bag in a bid to avoid detection on June 11, 2020.

It emerged Ms Rostas, a mother of seven, left her children at home on the day of the incident by accepting a lift from a man named ‘Chris’.

The court was told Ms Rostas should have been behind bars having been sentenced last December to nine months in prison for a similar theft related offence.

She was, however, granted early release owing to the fact she was pregnant at the time culminating in her serving just one month and 12 days in prison.

Sgt Paddy McGirl, for the prosecution revealed Ms Rostas had 30 previous indiscretions to her name, ten of which were for theft.

He said the most recent of those came at Galway Circuit Court on December 18 last and which coincided in the Eastern European native being handed a nine month sentence.

Before that, Ms Rostas was issued with a three month concurrent sentence to one she had already been serving in November under the Public Order Act.

In defence, solicitor Frank Gearty accepted his client was facing another spell behind bars owing to the existence of a European Arrest Warrant which had yet to be executed.

“She is in a very serious predicament and she is a mother of seven children,” he said.

“Her partner is no longer on the scene and (she is) without support.”

In making it clear to the court he was not in any way making excuses for Ms Rostas’ actions on the day, Mr Gearty said he believed his client was susceptible to being easily duped by coercive and unscrupulous others in dabbling in such activity.

He conceded an aggravating factor in the episode was the bag she had been found in possession of was “lined”.

It was also discovered, during her arrest, that a warrant for her arrest on a robbery charge was also outstanding against her.
Ms Rostas, who wore a mask and red jacket throughout proceedings, addressed Judge Hughes to reveal she had lost her fourth husband in a serious car accident back home in Romania, leaving her in a coma for three months.

Upon learning she had travelled from Ennis to carry out the theft in Tesco, Ms Rostas through her solicitor, revealed she had been promised a cut, or “one sixth of the booty” for stealing the phones.

She was also questioned by Judge Hughes as to why she decided to leave her children at home unsupervised and travel to Longford to commit crime.

Ms Rostas replied by indicating she had brought one of her daughters along for the journey on the day.

That caused Judge Hughes to remark: “You have had an eventful life to say the least.”

Mr Gearty, meanwhile, said he had organised appropriate legal representation for Ms Rostas in Dublin when her European Arrest Warrant hearing comes before the High Court.

After being told none of the phones taken were recovered, Judge Hughes advised Ms Rostas she faced an immediate custodial sentence if caught stealing in his midlands court district again.

“Sure, if I don’t let her out, the (Prison) governor will let her out,” he told the court while handing down a six month prison sentence, suspending the term for a period of three years.