A thief who stole an elderly woman’s casino winnings was brought to justice and will remain in prison.
Three Men Assaulted an Elderly Casino Player
In 2016, an anonymous 73-year-old casino player managed to win almost $25,000 by playing roulette. She left the Fitzwilliam Casino & Card Club in Ireland feeling lucky but her luck quickly ran out. Before she got home, three men attacked her.
The wrongdoers had been following the player the entire time and had waited for the right time to strike. The attack happened while the woman was checking her mailbox next to her house in Templeogue. At that moment, the men assaulted her, stole her prize money and left her bruised and cut. They left with a car which eventually helped the police identify the assailants.
The thieves were eventually identified as Brian English, Declan Connolly and Iancu Nicola. The Irish police determined Connolly’s identity after carefully checking the CCTV footage in the area. The car had a fake registration plate installed but this didn’t stop the police from figuring things out. After searching Connolly’s home and checking his phone, the police got a grasp of what really happened on the day of the attack.
The Wrongdoers Were Brought to Justice
Connolly’s phone showed that English was serving as the “spotter” of the operation and closely followed the victim’s playtime and winnings. His role was crucial as he helped to find and track the victim. However, it turns out that English is also one of the assailants who felt the guiltiest about the attack. He later pleaded guilty before court and even offered to pay about $7,000 to make up for his wrongdoing. He received a three-year suspended sentence.
Both Connolly and English lack a prior criminal record. According to their testimonies, the two men were struggling with gambling addiction at the time, which prompted their crime. In the end, Connolly also pleaded guilty and offered about $5,400 to the court as a way to atone for his crime. He was sentenced to five years in prison but suspended the last two and a half.
Nicola, on the other hand, was much harder to track down. The man left the country soon after his crime and had to be tracked down for years before he was finally brought to justice. International law enforcement eventually found him in Romania in October 2021.
Since then Nicola has remained in custody while his fate is decided. He pleaded guilty but unlike his assistants, his criminal record wasn’t as clean. According to the police, Nicola had been previously involved in undisclosed traffic cases.
According to the defense, Nicola also struggled with gambling addiction. His sister was willing to pay over $19,000 to the victim. He will remain in prison until the court decides on his sentence.