Tuesday 15 October 2019

Burglar who stole bride and groom's car on their wedding day and used it to ram garda vehicle jailed

Sean Keogh Photo Collins Courts
Sean Keogh Photo Collins Courts
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A BURGLAR who raided a bride and groom’s home on their wedding day, stealing their car and using it to ram a garda patrol vehicle, has been jailed for 20 months.

Sean Keogh (30) first took an iPad and phones, then tried to escape in the couple’s VW Polo, hitting a patrol car twice and going “airborne” in the ensuing high-speed chase.

Sentencing him, Judge John Hughes said it was a “mean and dispiriting” crime that must have “marred and tarnished” the victims’ memory of their wedding day.

Dublin District Court heard that the husband and wife involved were “relieved” that the case was over but did not wish to make a victim impact statement.

Keogh, who had 80 previous convictions, was once jailed for four years for his part in a horrific attack on a Polish worker who was murdered by another man.

In this latest case, the accused, of Emmet Crescent, Inchicore, Dublin, pleaded guilty to burglary and the unauthorised taking of a car from Goldenbridge Terrace, also in Inchicore, on September 22, 2018, as well as dangerous driving.

“The injured parties wish to express relief that the matter has been finalised, but don’t wish to provide a victim impact statement and wish to put the matter behind them,” Garda Paul Nolan told the court yesterday.

The couple recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary and the case had served as a “constant reminder” of what happened, he said.

The judge said: “Their enjoyment of the celebrations must have been marred and tarnished and taken from by Mr Keogh’s actions.”

The accused did not know the couple were out and getting married, but “takes his victims as he finds them”, he added.

Judge Hughes jailed Keogh for 21 months, with one month suspended, and ordered him to pay €1,500 compensation.

He also banned him from driving for 15 years.

Previously, the court heard that neighbours saw people in the house on the night and called gardai.

The car keys were taken from inside the house and as gardai arrived, Keogh drove the victims’ car directly toward them.

He performed a handbrake manoeuvre, striking the patrol car once, then mounted the pavement and reversed into the patrol car again.

The Polo was blocked by another patrol car before it mounted the pavement and drove off.

As it crashed over a ramp, all four wheels left the road.

Keogh fled across waste ground but was arrested.

The couple discovered what had happened when they came home the next morning to find a garda car in their driveway.

Keogh “wholeheartedly apologised” to the victims, his barrister Conor Burke told the court.

He was sentenced in 2010 for kicking Pawel Kalite (28) in the head as he fell to the ground after being fatally stabbed by a co-accused with a screwdriver.

Keogh admitted the assault on Mr Kalite but was acquitted of murdering him and Marius Szwajkos (27), while his co-accused David Curran was found guilty of both killings and jailed for life.

Herald

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