Thursday 19 September 2019

Dublin man went on drug and alcohol binge after being told he was going to be a father and stole two cars, court hears

Court heard it later emerged the man was not actually the father of the child

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Stock photo

Declan Brennan

A man who went on a drug and alcohol binge after a woman told him she was pregnant with his child has been jailed for 13 months for car theft.

Sean Dowdall (23) of Rutland Grove, Dublin was “off his head” on drugs when he stole a taxi driver's car and crashed it into a lamp post shortly afterwards, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

Oisin Clarke BL, defending, told the court that a woman that Dowdall wasn't “overly familiar with” indicated that she was pregnant and he was the father.

Mr Clarke said that Dowdall went on a binge of alcohol and drug use and stole two cars over two days. He said it later emerged his client was not actually the father of the child.

Dowdall pleaded guilty to stealing a car from a petrol station on Tir Chonaill Road, Inchicore, Dublin on February 12, 2016. He has 57 previous convictions including convictions for assault, theft and car theft.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a sentence of 13 months imprisonment.

Pieter LeVert BL, prosecuting, told the court that Paul Gannon was using his car as a taxi and had driven into the petrol station on Tir Chonaill Road to buy petrol.

He left his keys in the car when he went in to pay, and when he came out the car was gone.

After his arrest Dowdall told gardaí that he had been drinking and taking drugs nearby. He was “off his head” when he saw the parked car ticking over.

He said he drove off in the car. He broke red lights and hit another car but continued to drive on.

A short time later he lost control of the car and crashed into a lamp post. Dowdall was injured but flagged down a taxi and went to hospital where gardaí arrested him.

The stolen car was written off due to the extent of the damage. The court heard the insurance company did not compensate Mr Gannon for the car because he had left the keys in the car.

Last year Dowdall pleaded guilty to stealing a car from a petrol station in Dublin on the day before this offence and Judge Nolan imposed a sentence of two and a half years imprisonment.

On that occasion, the court heard that there was a teenage girl in the back of the car but that Dowdall only realised that after he had taken the car. He subsequently pleaded guilty to theft and false imprisonment.

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