A man who stole a taxi driver’s phone containing irreplaceable photos of his deceased mother received a five month prison sentence at Galway District Court.
William Casserly (37), with a former address at An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska, who has 87 previous convictions, pleaded guilty late last month to stealing an iPhone 6 and €200 cash from Md Abdul Kashem.
On July 21 of 2019, taxi driver Md Abdul Kashem picked Casserly and another man at Eyre Square.
The other man was dropped off first, but when the taxi arrived at Casserly’s destination at An Sean Bhaile Doughiska, he swiped the phone and cash from the car before running
The court heard at that time that it wasn’t the cash that was so precious to Mr Kashem. Rather, his phone held photos of his mother, who had since passed.
CCTV footage was shown to Mr Kashem, and he was able to identify the person who stole from him.
Judge Mary Fahy adjourned the case on the last date, as Mr Casserly said that he would make efforts to retrieve the phone, which he said he left at a former partner’s house.
However, after being unable to do so, he was sentenced to five months in prison at Galway District Court this week.
Judge Mary Fahy said that it was an incredibly “low down” thing to do, and highlighted that “a taxi driver, while carrying fares, is very vulnerable.”
She added that photos of a relative cannot be replaced when they are no longer alive.
A written victim impact statement was handed into the court, in which Mr Kashem said that he was devastated by the loss of his mother’s photos.
The court heard that Casserly was drunk at the time of the incident. Judge Fahy said that he could have tried to return the phone when he sobered up the next day.
Mr Casserly’s solicitor said that there was €800 in court as compensation for the material loss.
Judge Fahy took the compensation and plea into consideration when sentencing.
Leave to appeal was granted on Casserly’s own bond of €300.