Brave boy (10) who saved sister (11) from abduction praised in court by gardai

Michael Martin (PIC via James Flynn/APX)
Michael Martin (PIC via James Flynn/APX)

A 10-year-old boy who saved his sister from being abducted has been praised in court by Gardai.

36-year-old Michael Martin from Waterford city appeared in court today in Portlaoise for his sentencing hearing in connection with the attempted abduction, which took place at Cullahill in Co Laois on March 4 this year.

The court heard Martin pulled up alongside three children, two twin boys and the girl, and began to speak to them, before grabbing the 11-year-old girl and pulling her into the Nissan X-trail jeep he was driving.

Witness appeal following attempted abduction by man in Nissan X-Trail

The vehicle he was travelling in

Her brave 10-year-old brother followed the vehicle, jumped onto the side of the vehicle and was hanging off the side of the SUV, according to Garda Ann Marie Deegan.

The court heard that this distraction is alleged to have given the girl an opportunity to be released.

Martin was later picked up in north Kilkenny after one of the girl's brothers could identify the vehicle, including part of the number plate.

Garda Deegan described the siblings as "exceptional children" and prosecuting counsel Will Fennelly said that "they were obviously very courageous children" and he commended the "plucky" brother.

The court heard Mr Martin, who is originally from Dublin, has 92 previous convictions.

The majority of the convictions are for fraud or robbery but also included a conviction for an assault of a girl, threatening to kill or cause serious harm to a woman and in another incident, false imprisonment.

Martin initially denied to Gardai that he was attempting to abduct the 11 year old before pleading guilty to false imprisonment in July of this year. 

Judge Keenan Johnson commended the Garda Deegan and the Gardai for their police work.  

"I would like to commend her and her colleagues for the excellent work they did," he remarked.

He remanded Mr Martin in custody to appear again next Thursday when sentencing continues.

Additional reporting via