Saturday 25 November 2017

Man (28) who stole car of woman he met on Plenty of Fish dating site jailed for 18 months

Wesley Brennan (28) met the victim on online dating site (Getty pic)
Wesley Brennan (28) met the victim on online dating site (Getty pic)

Declan Brennan

A man who stole the car of a woman during their first date has been jailed for 18 months.

Wesley Brennan (28) met the victim on the Plenty of Fish online dating site. He was later identified to gardaí by the victim as she knew people who were in the background of his profile photograph.

During his date with Leoney Dunphy, Brennan began shouting at her over her driving skills and eventually told her to get out of the car and let him park.

She did this and he got into the car and drove off. He later sold the car off to scrap dealers in Ashbourne, Co Meath.

Brennan of Manor Lodge, Manor Street Dublin pleaded guilty to theft of the Honda Accord worth €5,500 at Wicklow Street, in Dublin city centre on March 26, 2013.

Imposing sentence Judge Martin Nolan said: “He was a bit lacking in the chivalry stakes”.

James Dwyer BL, defending, told the court that when the victim had first contacted Brennan on the website she didn’t think there was anything “fishy” about him because they both knew the same people.

The couple planned to go to a Chinese restaurant in the city and she drove her car. When they had reached the city centre his attitude towards her changed and he began shouting at her about her driving, she told gardaí.

She said she felt he was manipulating her at this point. He told her to get out of the car and let him park and she did so because she felt she had to.

Brennan got into the car and threw her bag at her before driving away. The car was later recovered in a broken up state after parts of it had been used by scrappage dealers.

Garda David Sharkey agreed with Mr Dwyer that there was no violence used in the theft and that he did not put Ms Dunphy in fear.

He said: “She was flustered to some degree”. He told the court she knew people in the background of photographs he had shared with her.

Counsel said his client had grown up in Tallaght and had fallen into homelessness and drug addiction. He owed a €2,500 drug debt and was using this theft to try to repay some of it.

Brennan told gardaí he was sorry for wasting their time and apologised to the victim.

Judge Nolan said that Brennan had a fertile imagination to come up with this scheme but it was hard to believe.

He backdated the sentence to last September when Brennan went into custody after his bail was revoked.

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