Knife wielding car jacker told woman "his boys" were waiting for her in Moyross

Knife wielding car jacker told woman "his boys" were waiting for her in Moyross

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 by Mr Justice Carroll Moran on October 27 2011.

The Director of Public Prosecution successfully sought a review of Kelly's sentence on the grounds that it was “unduly lenient” and a new sentence of eight years imprisonment with the final two suspended was imposed on him by the Court of Appeal today.

Speaking on behalf of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said a young woman had gotten off a train in Colbert Station and went to her car where she was confronted by Kelly.

She jumped into the back seat and was unsuccessful in keeping Kelly out of the vehicle, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

Kelly told her he wanted her money and wasn't going to hurt her if she drove him to an ATM. As she was driving he “roared directions” at her and held a knife to her throat, the judge said.

Mr Justice Sheehan said Kelly put his hand on her left leg and told her 'you don't know how dangerous I am; I'm wanted for burglary and rape'.

After he prevailed in obtaining sums of money from her he told her to drive him to Moyross.

When the woman told him: 'I thought you said you would leave me alone' if she got him money, Kelly said 'I want you to drive me to Moyross; my boys are waiting for you,' the judge said.

Kelly got out of the car at Moyross and the woman drove to a nearby garda station.

Mr Justice Sheehan said Kelly was a chronic heroin addict and had witnessed the unlawful killing of his father at eight years of age.

He said the starting point for Kelly's sentence, in light of the threats made and the fact that he was on bail at the time for another offence, was eight years imprisonment.

Mr Jsutice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Alan Mahon said Kelly was remorseful, had made admissions to gardaí and had pleaded guilty on arraignment.

In light of these mitigating factors and Kelly's personal circumstances, the court suspended the final two years of the eight year sentence.