A MOTORIST was dragged half a kilometre along a road by his own vehicle while being beaten about the head by a carjacker, a court was told yesterday.
The car, a silver Opel Vectra, was stolen after the owner pulled into a service station on June 12, 2010.
Matthew Quinn (28), a former youth player with Aston Villa Football Club, was jailed for three years for his role in the theft.
Quinn also admitted assaulting the owner of the car at Ballysimon Road, Limerick.
The victim, John Clarke, had left his car unattended with the driver's door open and the keys in the ignition before entering the service station,
A second man, who was not in court, and not named, got into the car and sat behind the wheel before beckoning Quinn to get in.
Quinn, of Glanmire Road, Cork, "foolishly followed", Limerick Circuit Court heard.
Judge Carroll Moran was told Mr Clarke, whose address was not given, ran out of the premises upon seeing the two men get into the vehicle to try and stop them.
"He grabbed the driver and tried to take the keys but the engine was already started," prosecution counsel John O'Sullivan, said.
The car pulled off and Quinn, who was in the front passenger seat, repeatedly struck Mr Clarke across the head with his fists.
"He (Mr Clarke) was dragged along for about 500 metres out on to the main road," Mr O'Sullivan added.
Mr Clarke told gardai he asked the car thieves: "Are you trying to kill me?".
Although Mr Clarke sustained cuts and bruises to his legs, back, and shoulders, he was not seriously injured.
"He (Quinn) played under-age level soccer at Aston Villa under the management of Brian Little and he was regarded as a good prospect for the future," Michael Collins, defending, told Judge Moran.
The judge took into account the assault charge before jailing Quinn.