Addict carjacker led woman to believe she would be raped in Moyross after ordeal

Central Criminal Court
Central Criminal Court

A chronic heroin addict jailed for hijacking a woman's car after she got off the train from Dublin faces a fresh sentence following an appeal by prosecutors.

James Kelly (25), with an address at Maple Court, Kennedy Park, Limerick, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court to false imprisonment, the unlawful taking of a vehicle and robbery at Colbert Station, Limerick on May 4 2011.

He was sentenced to six years imprisonment with the final two suspended for seven years by Judge Carroll Moran on October 27 2011.

The Director of Public Prosecution successfully sought a review of Kelly's sentence in the Court of Appeal today on grounds that it was unduly lenient and a new sentence will be imposed on June 4 next.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, John O'Sullivan BL, told the three judge court that Kelly committed a very serious offence on the occasion in question while armed with a knife.

A lady had come off the train from Dublin and was heading towards her car when she was set upon by Kelly and falsely imprisoned, Mr O'Sullivan said.

He said Kelly made her drive around and “prevailed” in obtaining sums of money from her from an ATM.

Mr O'Sullivan said certain remarks were made to the affect that he would take her to Moyross where she would be subjected to “certain indignities”.

Mr Justice John Edwards remarked later that Kelly caused her to believe she would be raped.

A victim impact statement indicated that she had found the whole episode extremely upsetting and had affected her confidence, Mr O'Sullivan said.

Counsel submitted that the sentence imposed did not meet the aggravating features of the case and the judge had fallen into error in suspending part of the sentence.

Counsel for Kelly, Brian McInerney BL, told the court that Kelly had been a chronic heroin addict at the time but he is “not currently on heroin”.

Mr McInerney confirmed to the court that Kelly had completed the immediate custodial element of his sentence and that he had been released for less than a week when he was returned to custody.

Speaking on behalf of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the three-judge court had concluded that the overall sentence in this case was “unduly lenient” and reasons would be set out at a later date.

Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, remanded Kelly in custody until June 4 for the imposition of a fresh sentence on that date.