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Thug kicked woman in attempted hijack

A YOUTH attempted to hijack a woman's car as she left her job at a centre for people with disabilities, then kicked her repeatedly when she tried to raise the alarm.

The victim was subjected to a terrifying ordeal when Ian O'Shaughnessy (20) ordered her out of her car then kicked her hand as she sounded the horn to get help.

O'Shaughnessy, of Greenwood Avenue, Donaghmede was sentenced to nine months' detention after a judge said it had been a "dreadful" experience for the woman.

The accused had denied a charge of attempting to seize the car outside St Michael's House, a centre for people with intellectual disabilities in Coolock.

Victim Carol Day told Dublin District Court she was getting into her Opel Corsa at the end of her day's work at the centre on the N32 at 5.25pm on January 9, 2008.

As she started the engine, the back passenger side door opened and at first she thought it was another staff member or service user. This was a second youth who was not before the court.

When she looked around, O'Shaughnessy opened the driver's door and told her aggressively: "Give me the keys, get out of the car, get out of the car."

When she refused, he stepped back and put his hands in his pockets as if he was looking for something. She feared he had a knife and started to sound the horn of her car.

Nobody came to her assistance and the accused began kicking her hand to stop her beeping the horn.

The accused then went to the boot of the car before they both ran off.

Garda Mark Barrett said he received a report that youths had attempted to pull a woman from her car and saw the accused nearby. He was later arrested for the offence.

Defence barrister Marc Thompson Gromilund said O'Shaughnessy admitted he was at the scene but that he was only looking for things to sell to buy drugs, so that the word "seize" in the charge was incorrect.

The State solicitor said this was a matter of semantics.

"It all adds up to the same thing," she said. "Mr O'Shaughnessy tried to hijack the injured party's car."

The defendant had 33 previous convictions for offences including car theft.

Judge Victor Blake said he fully accepted the prosecution's case.

"This was a dreadful experience for Ms Day to have an encounter like this at the end of her day's work," he said.