A man who threatened to shoot a heavily pregnant woman before he took her car in Dublin’s south inner city three years ago has being jailed for 18 months.
Christopher O'Reilly (29) of Weaver Row, South Brown Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawfully taking the car at Reginald Street, Dublin, on January 1st, 2010. He also pleaded guilty to charges of drink-driving, dangerous driving and driving without insurance on the same occasion.
After hearing that none of the €5,000 in compensation which O'Reilly had offered to the victim had been paid, Judge Patricia Ryan imposed a sentence of three years.
She suspended 18 months of this on condition that O’Reilly stay out of trouble for three years. She also imposed a three-year driving ban. O’Reilly has 21 previous convictions.
Garda Shane Noone told Derek Cooney, prosecuting, that Susan O’Leary was leaving a New Year’s Eve party with her husband shortly after 1am when she was approached by O’Reilly and another man.
Ms O’Leary, an American who has lived in Ireland for more than 10 years, was eight months pregnant and was not drinking at the party. She was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car when O’Reilly opened the driver’s door and threatened her, saying he had a gun. He had his hand in the shape of a gun under his coat.
The victim laughed nervously as she thought he was joking but O’Reilly threatened again to shoot her. “Don’t hurt me, I’m pregnant,” she told him.
Ms O’Leary told gardaí O’Reilly ignored her. “Give me the keys, I’ll shoot you, I have a gun,” he said, pushing past her into the driver’s seat.
When she went to stand with her husband, the other attacker began threatening them with a bottle. The thieves then drove off and the couple rang the Garda.
Shortly after taking the car, O’Reilly, who was drunk, crashed into bollards while trying to turn a corner on the icy roads. The 5-series BMW was written off.
When he was arrested, O’Reilly said he was too drunk to remember taking the car. At a court hearing in 2011 he offered to pay €5,000 to the victim as a “concrete expression” of his remorse. The court heard that none of this has been paid.