Suspended sentence | 

Woman who acted as getaway driver for armed robbery of Dublin off-licence avoids jail

Elaine Kelly (49) has 13 previous convictions

Elaine Kelly at the Criminal Courts of Justice

Claire Henry

A Dublin woman who acted as a getaway driver for the armed robbery of an off-licence has avoided a prison sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Elaine Kelly (49) was a vulnerable woman who was in the throes of drug addiction when she drove off with the raider of the shop in Kilbarrack, Dublin in October 2018.

Elaine Kelly (49) of Nurney Lawns, The Donahies, Donaghmede, Dublin pleaded guilty last January to driving away from the raid on October 22, 2018

After a sentence hearing on Thursday Judge Martin Nolan suspended a two year prison term on condition that she keeps the peace and be of good behaviour for two years.

Detective Garda Donal O’Shea of Howth Garda Station told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, that on the night of 22 October 2018, a man was seen running from an off-licence in the Kilbarrack, Edenmore area.

The man had just carried out an armed robbery and was being chased by a security guard. The raider mounted a bicycle and cycled off.

A man parked nearby saw the chase, turned on his dashcam and drove after the man on the bicycle.

Elaine Kelly

Gda O’Shea told the court that the dashcam footage showed the man abandoning the bicycle and getting into a blue parked car which was then driven away. The car was later seen pulling into a driveway, and the raider and a woman exited the car.

The following day both the man and woman, later identified as Kelly, were arrested.

The court heard that the gardai believe that Kelly was "strung out" on drugs at the time of the offence and that the small quantity of drugs found on her after her arrest was payment for driving the gate away car.

She has 13 previous convictions but has not come to the attention of the gardaí since this offence in 2018.

Joe Holt BL, defending, told the court that his client fully acknowledges that she was the getaway driver for a serious crime and that she deeply regrets and is ashamed of her actions.

The court also heard that Kelly was in fear of the man who carried out the robbery. He is currently serving a fourteen-year prison sentence for a separate crime.

Judge Nolan said that he did not believe that Kelly deserved a prison sentence and that he believes that she was both a vulnerable person and in fear when she acted as a getaway driver.

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