Court hears how Longford man stole car in broad daylight as victim attempted to pay for fuel

News reporter


News reporter


Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes.

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Road Traffic Act was sentenced to nine months in prison and disqualified from driving for eight years following a hearing into the matter.

Patrick Maughan ℅ Lavender Cottage, Farnagh Hill, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing an Apple Iphone at Dublin Street, Longford on February 2, 2017.

He was also further charged with the unauthorised taking of a vehicle; drink driving and dangerous driving at Ferefad, Longford on November 3 last.

The defendant was also charged with theft and the unauthorised taking of a car at Kearney’s Filling Station, Granard on June 24, 2017.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Bláthín Moran said that on November 3 last, gardaí received a report of a driver acting suspiciously in the Moydow area.

Gardaí took details of the reg number and when they checked it out, they discovered the vehicle in question had been stolen.

“Gardaí went to the area and spoke with the driver who was the defendant,” added the Inspector.
“His speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet, so he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and taken to the garda station.”

There, an intoxilyzer test indicated a reading of 56 mg/alcohol per 100 ml/breath.

The court went on to hear that on the night of the incident, the car drove in excess of 160 km/h and the driver drove on the wrong side of the road putting other motorists in danger.

“At Shroid, the vehicle drove on the wrong side of the road and then went in the wrong direction on the roundabout,” the Inspector continued.

“Then at Ferefad, the driver drove on the wrong side of the road.”

The court went on to hear then that on June 20, 2016 at approximately 2:20am, gardaí stopped a silver BMW being driven by the defendant.

A lawful demand was made for the defendant’s driving licence and other particulars relating to the vehicle, the court was also told.

Meanwhile, Inspector Moran pointed out that gardaí also searched the car on the night and discovered €5 worth of cannabis herb in a bag.

The court was told that the BMW was subsequently seized.

Inspector Moran then went on to say that on a separate occasion, an Iphone was stolen from a parked car that had not been locked and when gardaí viewed CCTV footage in respect of the matter, they observed the defendant taking the phone.

“On June 24, 2016 at 1:30pm, a lady filled her tank with petrol at Kearney’s Garage in Granard and then went into the shop to pay for the fuel,” Inspector Moran continued.

“The defendant, meanwhile, went over the vehicle, got in and drove off in the direction of Edgeworthstown.

“The car was later found outside a house.”

The court was also told that the defendant had 20 previous convictions.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor John Quinn said his client has serious addiction problems and was the father to two small children.

“He was trying to go straight but got caught up with drugs again, and then ended up with all these problems that are here before the court today,” Mr Quinn added.

Following his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes sentenced the defendant to five months in prison for the unauthorised taking of a vehicle and two months concurrent for stealing the Iphone.

The Judge also sentenced Mr Maughan to a further four months in jail and disqualified him from driving for eight years for drink driving and driving without insurance.

“This,” concluded Judge Hughes, “is absolutely appalling carry-on.”