Teenager jailed for possession of stolen car

Teenager jailed for possession of stolen car

A Dublin teenager who self-harmed in a garda station while being questioned over a stolen car has been sentenced to two years in prison with the final year suspended.

Karl McDermott (19) of Ratoath Avenue, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a stolen car and stolen car keys on St Helena's Road, Finglas on June 30, 2015 . He has 40 previous convictions including burglary and interfering with a car.

Garda Michael Hughes agreed with Mark Lynam BL, defending, that his client's brother died in Mountjoy prison three months before his arrest.

He accepted that McDermott had been greatly affected by this and had tried to self-harm while in custody being questioned about the stolen car. Both a doctor and the fire brigade had to be called to the station.

Gda Hughes told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that the owner of the stolen Toyota Yaris had the car “forcibly taken from her outside her home by two males” on June 29, 2015.

At 4.50am the following morning Gda Hughes spotted a car matching that description crashed and abandoned in the middle of a junction on Tolka Valley Road in Finglas.

He saw McDermott get out of the driver's seat and run off but he managed to catch him and arrested him. The car keys were found in McDermott's sock. He was “heavily intoxicated”.

McDermott was difficult at the garda station, spitting at Gda Hughes and he made no admissions in his subsequent interview.

The woman was without a car for five weeks but the insurance company later wrote off the vehicle and she received a pay-out.

Mr Lynam told Judge Sarah Berkeley that his client was addicted to both alcohol and tablets but had been “doing well” before his brother's death last year. He found it very difficult to cope afterwards and began abusing again.

Judge Berkeley said McDermott had been “a danger to himself and to members of the public”.

“He didn't co-operate with the gardai, quite the opposite,” the judge said. She acknowledged that it had been “a difficult time” in McDermott's life and that he had been “somewhat caught red-handed”.

Judge Berkeley imposed a two year sentence before she suspended the final 12 months on strict conditions.

Sonya McLean