Man stole woman’s car during their first date

Wesley Brennan shouted at woman about her driving skills and told her to get out of the car

A man who stole a woman’s car during their purported first date has been jailed for 18 months.

Wesley Brennan (28) met the victim on the Plenty of Fish online dating site.

He was later identified to gardaí by the victim, who knew people in the background of his profile photograph.

During his date with Leoney Dunphy, Brennan began shouting at her about her driving skills and eventually told her to get out of the car and let him park.


Scrap dealers

She did this and he got into the driver's seat and drove off. He later sold the car to scrap dealers in Ashbourne, Co Meath.

Brennan, of Manor Lodge, Manor Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to theft of the Honda Accord worth €5,500 at Wicklow Street, in Dublin city centre on March 26th, 2013.

Imposing sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said: "He was a bit lacking in the chivalry stakes."

James Dwyer BL, defending, told the court when the victim had first made contact with Brennan on the website, she didn’t think there was anything “fishy” about him because they both knew the same people.

Chinese restaurant

The couple planned to go to a Chinese restaurant in the city, and she drove. When they reached the city centre, his apparent attitude towards her changed and he began shouting at her about her driving, she told gardaí­.

She said she felt he was manipulating her at this point. He told her to get out of the car and let him park, and she did so because she felt she had to.

Brennan got into the car and threw her bag at her before driving away. The car was later recovered in a broken-up state after parts of it had been used by scrap dealers.

Garda David Sharkey agreed with Mr Dwyer that there was no violence used in the theft and that he did not put Ms Dunphy in fear.

He said: “She was flustered to some degree.” He told the court she knew people in the background of photographs he had shared with her.

Drug debt

Counsel said his client had grown up in Tallaght and had fallen into homelessness and drug addiction. He owed a €2,500 drug debt and was using this theft to try to repay some of it.

Brennan told gardaí­ he was sorry for wasting their time and apologised to the victim.

Judge Nolan said Brennan had a fertile imagination to come up with this scheme, but it was hard to believe.

He backdated the sentence to last September when Brennan went into custody after his bail was revoked.