Sunday 25 March 2018

Hijacker took miscarrying mother’s car

Conor Gallagher and Sonya McLean

A man serving a seven-year sentence will spend no extra time in prison for hijacking the car of a woman who was suffering a miscarriage.

Heroin addict David Dunne (29) was also sentenced for robbing an 85-year-old woman of her pension and robbing two pharmacies during the same crime spree.

The court heard he has 66 previous convictions and was convicted of his first offence when he was 13. His previous convictions include robbery and burglary.

Dunne is currently serving a seven-year sentence which was imposed in November last year for another hijacking and 10 other offences.

Yesterday Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed an eight-year sentence to date from February 2012 and suspended the final year. This means Dunne will serve no extra time in prison as the sentence will run alongside the one imposed last November.

Dunne, of Summerhill, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawfully seizing a vehicle by force and production of a screwdriver at Marino Mart, Marino on January 31, 2011. He also pleaded guilty to robbery of the elderly lady and two pharmacies in the north inner city in February 2012.

The court heard the victim of the hijacking was in the midst of miscarrying a second twin from her pregnancy, having lost the first baby some time earlier.

She was due to visit her obstetrician the next day for a removal procedure but the trauma she suffered due to the hi-jacking left her bleeding heavily and she was taken to hospital immediately.

Inspector Fionnuala Olohan told Melanie Greally, prosecuting, that the woman was doing errands in Marino when she noticed Dunne walking towards her car with his hood up and face covered in a scarf.

Dunne came to the driver’s window and started shouting at her to get out of the car. She refused and tried to drive away but the engine cut out.

Dunne then smashed the window with a screw driver, reached in and unlocked the doors.

The woman said her next recollection was standing on the path screaming for help.

A number of local business people came to her assistance including brothers John and Seamus Diamond who tried to stop Dunne driving away. Dunne swiped the screwdriver at Seamus Diamond and ran off in the direction of Fairview Park.

Insp Olohan said Dunne was later arrested and that he claimed he had no specific recollection of the actual incident because he was intoxicated.

The next month Dunne saw an elderly woman shopping in the city centre and followed her onto a bus to her home. As she was approaching her front door Dunne pushed her away from her trolley and took her purse which contained her pension of €200.

The woman was extremely upset and in financial difficulty after the incident. The same month Dunne entered two pharmacies armed with a knife. He took €200 from one and €400 and tablets from another.

Judge Ring told the hijacking victim that she could empathise with her and said it was clear that this crime was part of a “rampage” of violent crime on Dunne’s part.

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