Monday 25 May 2015

No extra jail time for addict who mowed down schoolboy (14)

Declan Brennan

Published 13/03/2014 | 02:30

Conor Hickey's father John Hickey. Picture: Collins Court
Conor Hickey's father John Hickey. Picture: Collins Court

AN ADDICT who was on his way to buy drugs when he fatally injured a 14-year-old boy in a hit-and-run will serve no extra time in prison.

When gardai arrested Ruadhan Tracey (33) two months after the incident in Dublin, he told them he knew it was because he had knocked the boy down.

Tracey, who received a 20-month sentence yesterday, told officers: "Conor Hickey, I will never forget that name."

Tracey has 36 previous convictions and is already serving a 10-year jail term, with two years suspended, for a spate of armed robberies, including one in which he left a shop worker in need of 24-hour care after stabbing him with a syringe.

NIGHTMARE

These offences were carried out after the hit-and-run. The 20-month term will run alongside the 10-year sentence, meaning he will serve no extra time in prison.

The victim's sister Claire said: "I've the biggest hole in my heart. I feel we have a life sentence for the rest of our natural lives."

She added in a victim impact statement: "Conor wasn't just a brother but also my best friend. Since December 2, 2011, my life has changed forever."

John Hickey, the victim's father, said: "Before December 2011 life for my family was very different and as close to perfect as you could get. Conor was in second year preparing for his Junior Certificate.

"It's impossible to describe the effects a tragedy like this does to a family. It's like a tsunami that hits a family. It takes everything away in a flash.

"To say it's a family's worst nightmare to lose a child, I cannot think of anything else that could devastate a family more."

His mother Margaret Hickey said she feels a pain in her chest which no pills can cure.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said she was bound by the legislation and said that she must also give credit to Tracey for entering a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and his genuine remorse.

Tracey of Lagore Green, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to careless driving causing the death of Conor Hickey at Fassaugh Road on December 2, 2011.

Padraic Dwyer, defending, said the accused had a chronic drug addiction and was sorry for the grief he has caused.

Irish Independent

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