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community service Thief who left his ID in stolen van said his brain was 'a bit fried'

Patrick Brazil, with an address at Greenwood Drive, Ayrfield, Dublin 13, pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of a vehicle.

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A MAN who jumped into a workman's van on a city street and drove it before fleeing was caught after he left his ID behind.

Patrick Brazil (34) said his brain was "a bit fried" and he could not explain why he took the van when the driver left it running for a moment in Temple Bar in Dublin.

After he was tracked down through his dropped identification Brazil made admissions immediately.

Judge Michael Walsh adjourned the case for a community service suitability report.

Brazil, with an address at Greenwood Drive, Ayrfield, Dublin 13, pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of a vehicle. Dublin District Court heard a workman left the van running and unoccupied for a short time at Temple Bar Square at 8.40pm on January 25 this year.

Brazil jumped into the van and drove it for a short distance on the square before being stopped by the worker.

He was taken from the van and there was a struggle during which Brazil dropped an ID document.

This led gardaí to discover who he was, the court heard. Brazil had previous convictions.

However, he had "never done anything like this before" and appreciated it was an "incredibly stupid thing to do", his solicitor Conor Ruane said.

The DPP directed summary disposal of the case in the district court and the accused was happy it was being dealt with at that venue, the court heard.

Brazil made admissions immediately on apprehension and appreciated the people who owned the van were entitled to deal with him in the way he did, Mr Ruane said.

He had told gardaí: "I don't know why I done it, I don't know what I was thinking, my head is a bit fried at the minute."

Brazil accepted he jumped in and drove the van around the corner, Mr Ruane said.

The solicitor asked Judge Walsh not to impose a custodial sentence, saying the accused was prepared to carry out community service instead.

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Judge Walsh said he would impose a 150 hour community service order in lieu of a three-month sentence if the accused is found suitable.

He adjourned the case to a date later this month for a suitability report.

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