A teenage car thief with 62 previous convictions was sentenced to 18 months in prison for hijacking a car to get to court.
19-year-old Darren Farrell of Montpellier Gardens, Dublin 7, was found guilty of unlawfully seizing the black Seat Exeo by force in December 2010.
A 12-year-old boy who was waiting for his mother in the vehicle was left traumatised by the incident, the Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.
Garda Martina Drew told the court that Farrell and his brother Martin were on their way to Blanchardstown District Court when the red Nissan Micra in which they were travelling was clamped in a car park on Main Street, Blanchardstown.
When Farrell returned to the car the young boy in the Seat Exeo rolled down the passenger window to explain what had happened. Farrell placed his hand through the open window and unlocked the door.
He told the boy to get out of the car and threatened to “batter” him before making off with the vehicle.
Farrell and his brother abandoned the stolen car less than a mile away in a car park beside Leisureplex in Blanchardstown and proceeded to Blanchardstown Courthouse.
They were observed entering the toilets in the courthouse where a bunch of keys was found floating in a toilet-bowl. The ignition key for the Seat Exeo was missing.
Farrell later surrendered the key to Gardaí and said that he had only taken the car to give his brother a lift to court.
Counsel for the defence requested that the judge “leave some light at the end of the tunnel” when passing sentence on Farrell, who is currently serving 22 months in prison for a separate offence. His previous convictions included assault, burglary and dangerous driving.
Judge Martin Nolan said that Farrell appeared to be on an “escapade of crime”.
He handed down a three-year sentence but suspended the last 18 months on condition that the teenager would exhibit good behaviour over a period of two years and liaise with the Probation Service.