Addict carjacked woman with her baby on the back seat

Addict carjacked woman with her baby on the back seat

A heroin addict who hijacked the car of a lady with her child on the back seat faces an increased prison sentence following a successful appeal by prosecutors.

Christopher Coakley (23), with an address at Empress Place, Dublin 1, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful seizure of a vehicle at Mountjoy Square on August 5 2012.

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment by Judge Desmond Hogan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on February 25 2013.

The Director of Public Prosecutions successfully appealed his sentence in the Court of Appeal in February.

The court had heard from Martina Baxter BL, for the DPP, that Coakley had hijacked the car of a lady with her child on the back seat in August 2012.

Two months earlier, Ms Baxter said, Coakley had benefited from an entirely suspended five-year sentence and that wasn't sufficiently taken into account by the sentencing judge for the present offence.

Ms Baxter said Coakley had 92 previous convictions, a number of those were before the Circuit Court and Judge Hogan had sentenced him on previous occasions.

The court heard that Coakley had been a heroin addict since he was 13-years-old and had been in custody most of the time since he was 14-years-old.

His mother Paula Johnston told Lorcan Staines BL, for Coakely, during a brief sentencing hearing that her whole family were “very shocked about what happened” on Mountjoy Square in August 2012.

Ms Johnston said her son had “hit rock bottom” on that occasion and he realised that himself. As a result, she said he was “completely drug free since September”.

On foot of “helpful” suggestions byMr Staines the court adjourned sentencing until July on condition that he would go from prison to Coolmine Alcohol and Drugs Service Community.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan said the court was minded to give Mr Coakley the opportunity that Mr Staines envisaged, in other words that he should have the opportunity of taking up the position in Coolmine.

Mr Justice Ryan remanded him in custody subject to being released into the custody of a representative of Coolmine and that he be brought back to court on July 20 for sentence.

If Coakley left Coolmine, Mr Justice Ryan said, the authorities are to be notified, the matter will be dealt with appropriately and “the court will not take a lenient view in those circumstances”.

“Thanks very much,” Coakley said.

Mr Justice Ryan, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice George Birmingham, nobody would be “more delighted than the members of the court if you take that chance".