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Young dad stole car to get home from takeaway 'as it was lashing and he wanted to get home'


Garda: File photo

Garda: File photo

Garda: File photo

AN OPPORTUNISTIC thief went into a takeaway, took a set of car keys and drove off in the vehicle because it was "lashing rain and he wanted to get home", a court heard.

Damien Walsh (24) was on his way home in the stolen vehicle when gardai stopped him a short distance from his house.

Judge Bryan Smyth imposed an eight-month sentence suspended for one year. He also banned Walsh from driving for five years.

The defendant, of Buttercup Park, Darndale, admitted before Dublin District Court to using a vehicle without the consent of its owner.

Gda Neill Plunkett said he was on patrol last August 10 when he received a call that Walsh had been seen in a stolen car at Buttercup Park, Darndale.

Gda Plunkett said he saw Walsh drive the stolen Fiat Punto on to Marigold Avenue and then Marigold Park.

He said that when Walsh saw gardai he ran away from the car but was caught after a short chase.

The court heard Walsh took the keys and car from a takeaway in Malahide Road, Dublin 17.

Gda Plunkett said he had entered an unlocked side door of the takeaway and grabbed the keys before driving off in the car.

He said there was no damage to the car, which was returned to its owner.

The court heard Walsh has 33 previous convictions but had not been in trouble since 2012.

Defence solicitor Declan Fahy said it was an "opportunistic crime".

Mr Fahy said it was lashing rain at the time, Walsh went into the chipper for shelter and he took the car keys "to get home".

He said the defendant, a father of one, had a drug problem in the past and was hanging out with a bad peer group.

The solicitor said Walsh is awaiting residential treatment, and he also has the support of his father, who has taken a keen interest in helping him.