Tuesday 26 September 2017

Killer driver back behind bars after stealing car

ANDREW PHELAN

A SOUTH Dublin man had just been released from a jail sentence for dangerous driving causing death when he stole a car from a dealership after asking to take it for a "test run".

Stephen O'Reilly (34) was jailed for eight months after he admitted taking the car without permission from the garage, driving off before the salesman could get in.

Dublin District Court heard at the time, he was banned from driving and had more than 130 previous convictions, including one for causing the death of a man in the UK.

O'Reilly, with an address at Upper Churchtown Road, Churchtown, pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of the Toyota Avensis at Right Price Cars, Prussia Street on June 25.

Gardai caught him changing the car's licence plates in an underground car park. The prosecuting garda said the defendant had been sentenced to nine years in jail in the UK in 2008 for dangerous driving causing death.

His other prior convictions included 25 for uninsured driving, five for dangerous driving, three for criminal damage, one for unauthorised taking and four for hit-and-run.

He had served five years of the nine-year sentence. Since his release, he had been jailed for another 11 months for dangerous driving in Co Westmeath. In that incident, also in June this year, he led gardai on a high-speed chase and was sentenced in October.

"You were no sooner out than you were over here committing these offences," Judge Ann Watkin said.

O'Reilly had bought cars from the dealer in question before and on the day, he saw the Avensis and knew someone who wanted one, his barrister said.

He intended buying it and selling it on to this person at a profit. He knew other staff at the dealer but "did not know this particular salesman", counsel said.

O'Reilly took the car but the other person was not interested and by this time, it was too late to return because the garage was closed. He claimed he was in the process of changing the licence plates back when the garda saw him. The prosecuting garda said this was not correct.

Judge Watkin said the accused's claims were "nonsense" and that he knew full well he should not have taken the car when he "took off".

She jailed him for eight months, but made it concurrent to the sentence he is currently serving in the Midlands Prison.

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