A 49-year-old man has been sentenced to five years in prison for robbing a 96-year-old woman in her home on the outskirts of Buncrana in Co Donegal last January.
Thomas Allcock, who the court was told was originally from the UK and from a travelling background, broke into the home of Margaret Lilly in the early hours of 5 January.
He broke down the locked door of her bedroom and demanded money.
Letterkenny Circuit Court was told that he pulled Ms Lilly by the hair, dragged her from her bed, kicked her and pushed part of a cardigan into her mouth.
Ms Lilly had €3,000 in her handbag, which she had in the bed with her, and which Allcock took.
Ms Lilly activated her personal alarm to get help after the incident.
She was taken to hospital, where she stayed for four days.
She later returned to hospital with chest pains and anxiety and is now living in a residential home.
Sgt Daniel Devlin told the court that Allcock had 71 previous offences in the UK and had been discharged from prison a few months before the burglary on licence, including the condition that he not leave the UK.
Allcock’s barrister said he had a very difficult background, including a drug problem, and he had taken cannabis and crack cocaine on the night he burgled Ms Lilly.
Allcock told the court that he was ashamed of what he had done and apologised.
Judge John O'Hagan refused a defence request to suspend part of the five-year sentence, saying that he would not suspend one minute of it.
He congratulated gardaí for their 'wonderful detective work' in the case.