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Teen with over 100 convictions jailed for driving over postman's foot while robbing van

Central Criminal Court
Central Criminal Court

A young Meath resident who drove over a postman’s foot while stealing his post van has received a nine year sentence.

Brian Reilly (18) has over 100 previous convictions including 22 for car theft and is already serving a sentence for burglary.

Reilly of Boyne View, Navan, Co Meath pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to reckless endangerment and theft of a vehicle at Rosscourt Grove, Lucan on August 22, 2013.

Judge Patrick McCartan imposed consecutive sentences of five years and four years on the respective counts. He said he was suspending the last three years to encourage Reilly not to reoffend.

Garda Gerry Smith told Garrett McCormack BL that Gerard Devlin was an independent contractor working for An Post as a postman on the morning of the crime. He had gotten out of the post van and left the keys in the ignition when Reilly jumped into the front seat and started the engine.

Mr Devlin ran back to the van and tried to knock on the driver’s side window but Reilly went to pull the van forward in a three point turn. The postman tried to break the glass using a bar code scanning device he was holding and eventually the window smashed. He reached into the van to grab the keys and Reilly reversed sharply, driving over the postman’s foot.

He continued to reverse the van until he hit a wall and this manoeuvre dragged Mr Devlin along the ground, grazing his clothes and scraping him.

Mr Devlin said he was in fear of his life at this point. He managed to jump out of the way of the van when it hit the wall and Reilly drove off.

The van was later located parked up in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath by use of a tracking device inside it. Reilly was arrested nearby by gardaí who matched him to the description given by the victim.

James O’Brien BL, defending, said his client was a settled traveller whose family had been forced to move to Navan, Co Meath four years ago after a pipe bomb was left under a caravan at their home in Monkstown, Co Dublin.

He said that his client was doing well in custody and addressing gaps in his early education. He said Reilly is also trying to deal with his drug issues and is waiting to see a drug counsellor in Wheatfield prison.

Judge McCartan said that this was an appalling case. He said that based on Reilly’s criminal record the only possible thing to do was to keep him out of circulation for as long as possible.

He said Reilly had shown no regard for the safety of the postman during his taking of the van.