Teenager who ‘bulldozed’ woman with his car to be sentenced

Patrick O’Donnell (19) acccidentally reversed into car at Dundrum Town Centre car park

A teenager “bulldozed” a woman with his car after he had accidentally reversed into her vehicle while waiting to exit a busy shopping complex car park, a court has heard.

Patrick O'Donnell (19) was waiting at the barriers of Dundrum Town Centre car park when he reversed and struck the vehicle behind. Both drivers got out and O'Donnell offered to pay the woman for the damage rather than go through his insurance.

Garda Stephen Morley said the woman was concerned that she didn’t know how much the repair would cost and suggested that they go through the insurance. She was on the phone calling the gardaí­ when O’Donnell got into his car and tried to drive away.

Garda Morley told Garrett Baker BL, prosecuting, the woman has a hazy recollection of what happened next, but CCTV footage shows that she stood in front of the vehicle in an effort to prevent O’Donnell from driving off.


O’Donnell continued to drive forward slowly, striking the woman a number of times, before his passenger gets out of the car in an effort to move her off completely.

The woman refused to move and after his passenger returned to the car, O’Donnell moved his car before striking the woman a final time, causing her injuries, Garda Morley said.

O'Donnell of Abbottstown Avenue, Finglas, Dublin 11, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to the woman at Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin on December 15th, 2020. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally asked to be shown the CCTV footage of the incident a second time after Garda Morley finished his evidence.

“What happened was outrageous,” the judge said “She (the victim) was doing the perfectly correct thing and it was evident that there were security staff. There were plenty of means by which it could have been appropriately dealt with.”

But she said O’Donnell “bulldozed” the woman, although she acknowledged he did drive slowly at first.

She said the woman was persistent in her desire to keep O’Donnell there and that what O’Donnell had done was “dangerous in the extreme”.

Judge Greally noted that the woman had pre-existing depression and anxiety and that she “has since suffered very acutely” in terms of her mental well-being.

She said that “many considerations need to be balanced” before she passes sentence in the case and apologised to the woman, who was present in court, that she could not deal with in straight away.

Judge Greally remanded O’Donnell on continuing bail and adjourned the case to May 17 next for the preparation of a report from the Probation Service. She said in the meantime O’Donnell “should put his mind to obtaining employment” and getting some money together as a token of his remorse.