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09 Aug 2022

Man with 184 convictions jailed after the theft of two cars on the same day and fleeing the scene of a crash in Midlands

court

Portlaoise District Court

A 25-year-old man with 184 previous convictions who stole a car in Co Cork while “heavily under the influence of drugs” and after crashing it then stole another car from Ballybrittas has been given a 12-month prison sentence at Portlaoise District Court.

Trevor Hegarty (25), Gurranabraher Avenue, Gurranabraher, in Cork city, was charged with theft of a vehicle, from New Square, Mitchelstown, Co Cork; and theft of a vehicle, from Teamwoodcraft, Ballybrittas, both on December 2, 2020.

State's evidence outlined that on December 2 last, there was a road traffic collision at Ballybrittas and the driver fled the scene on foot. The car involved had been stolen from Cork earlier in the day.

Later that day, the gardaí saw another stolen car being driven by a male who matched the description of the driver from the road traffic collision and he was subsequently arrested.

The accused had 184 previous convictions, including 50 road traffic offences, 48 public order offences, 28 for theft, and four previous for the unauthorised taking of a vehicle. Approximately 60 of his convictions were incurred while he was a juvenile.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said that the first stolen car had been a write-off, but the second was undamaged, and the accused had suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused had addiction issues, after being introduced to drug use by his own father at the age of 12 and developing an addiction to heroin at 18.

Defence said that concerning the stolen vehicles, the Cork man had been trying to get over to the UK following a cousin's death and had taken the first car and crashed it, then he got into another one.

“He was heavily under the influence of drugs at the time,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Addressing the court himself, Mr Hegarty said he had been homeless on the streets of Cork and heavily addicted to heroin.

He said he had been trying to get into treatment but had been blocked due to the Covid-19 restrictions, and asked the court to help him access treatment.

Judge Catherine Staines said it was a very serious matter and told the accused that people have to work hard to save up to purchase their cars.

The judge imposed a 12-month sentence, with the last two months suspended on condition the accused remains under probation supervision.

Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.

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