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Pair went at parked car with cutters

TWO friends were caught trying to dismantle a parked car with a cutting machine that had jaws "like a dinosaur", a court heard.

David Keenan (18) and John McDonagh (21) intended cutting up the "banger" to sell on for scrap when gardai saw them.

They were both fined over the incident in an underground car park in Dublin.

Keenan, of Barry Drive Finglas, and McDonagh of Barn Lodge, Ballycoolin Road, Dublin 11, both pleaded guilty to possession of a hydraulic metal cutting device for use in the course of a theft.

Garda Conor Garland told Dublin District Court he was on patrol at the car park at College View Apartments, Ballymun, at 11.45pm on September 2 last.

He saw the two defendants walking away from a car that had been jacked up.

They could give no reason for being there or for having the cutting device.

The court heard Keenan had six previous convictions for public order and motoring offences. McDonagh had two previous public order convictions.

Trouble

The defendants had always indicated that they would not be contesting the charges, their barrister said.

They had co-operated fully with the gardai and had not been in trouble since the incident.

Counsel said the car the defendants had been found beside was an "old car and was not in use". Garda Garland confirmed that the car in question "wasn't that old, it was just a banger".

The defendants had both apologised for the incident and realised they "shouldn't have been involved".

"They made a decision to try to get some scrap metal from an old car," the defendants' barrister said. "They were never involved in trying to steal anything before."

Judge Conal Gibbons remarked that the machine was to be used to cut pieces off the car and asked to examine it.

"It's an awesome device," the judge remarked. "It's like what one would imagine a dinosaur would do to an old banger."

The judge fined them €100 each and gave them three months to pay, with 14 days in prison in default.

aphelan@herald.ie


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