Passenger in stolen car which caused €20k worth of damage sentenced

James O'Connell
James O'Connell

A man who was a passenger in a stolen car which was rammed through the gates of an apartment complex, causing €20,000 worth of damage, has received a two-year suspended sentence.

James O'Connell (23) of Clifden Drive, Ballyfermot, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawful carriage in a car, damaging a second car and causing approximately €21,553 of damage to gates at Rosebank Apartments, Nangor Road, Clondalkin on December 14, 2013.

His co-accused, James Dunphy (21), of Lally Road, Ballyfermot, received a two-year suspended sentence when his case was finalised last month. He had nine previous convictions.

Garda Gavin Duffy told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that the incident was captured on CCTV and showed the stolen car being driven by Dunphy with O'Connell as a passenger from the car park of the apartment block through two sets of gates onto the main road.

The court heard that the stolen car had been hot wired after having it's door forced open. A second car had also been damaged.

Gda Duffy said O'Connell had no previous convictions at the time of this offence but had since accrued 13 convictions related to one incident including dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance.


Jennifer Jackson BL, defending O'Connell, handed in a probation report which she said was extremely positive and asked the court to read it.

Judge Melanie Greally said on reading the report that there was considerable cause for optimism.

She noted that at the time of the offences O'Connell was undergoing difficulties in his personal life and had alienated himself from his family and was abusing alcohol.

She said that based on the probation report he had appeared to have a genuine willingness to put this behind him and live his life in a productive and law-abiding way.

She imposed a two-year sentence on O'Connell which she suspended for three years and ordered him to undergo 12 months probation supervision.

Fiona Ferguson