A woman who went on a “crime spree” of street muggings, robbery and aggravated burglary over two days has been jailed for four years after she agreed to spend a further two years on probation.
Jailing 20-year-old Maria Devlin at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Gemma Loughran told her the courts had long made clear that robberies and street muggings will be dealt with severely to deter others, but that she accepted Devlin had been “influenced by undesirable peers”.
Earlier the court heard that on July 8 and 9, 2008, a week after she turned 18, Devlin and a group of others mugged a lone female in the University area of Belfast, robbed a Subway supervisor of £20 in Botanic Avenue, mugged a man and broke into a house on Fitzroy Avenue and threatened to stab a boyfriend and girlfriend in their bed.
Prosecuting lawyer Fiona O'Kane told the court that in the Subway incident, Devlin held the knife “about an inch away” from the body of the female supervisor demanding £20 from the till.
She had then jumped over the counter and was handed the note by the supervisor before running off.
In the break-in, the lawyer said the couple were woken at around 4am when Devlin stamped on the man’s neck man and threatened “I'm going to knife you” before stealing bank cards, cash, jewellery, an iPod and computer games.
In another incident, Mrs O'Kane described how Devlin and two other men robbed a man of his wallet and mobile phone after holding a knife to his throat and of another mugging when the gang robbed a lone female on University Avenue, again after she was threatened with a knife.
In total Devlin, from Marchioness Street in Belfast, pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery, two of possessing a weapon, one of aggravated burglary, one assault and one of assaulting police.