Woman jailed for stealing ambulance


A MOTHER of two who stole an ambulance during an emergency call-out in Dublin in January has been jailed for four months.

Paramedics had left the ambulance at Hardwicke Street in the north inner city to attend to an elderly woman at about 3am on January 8th last when it was taken.

Jessica Kavanagh (27), of Sean O’Casey Avenue, Dublin, had earlier pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to stealing the ambulance, drunken driving and not having motor insurance.

A drink-drive test produced a reading of 145mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

Garda Joseph O’Connor had told the court a Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance was taken from outside Rory O’Connor House as two emergency crew were dealing with an elderly woman.

He saw the ambulance going towards Sean O’Casey Avenue. He then witnessed the defendant leaving the driver’s side of the ambulance, before chasing and arresting her.

At the sentence hearing yesterday, defence solicitor Yvonne Bambury told Judge David McHugh that Kavanagh did not go out often and was not “habituated to consuming that level of alcohol”. The defendant had a history of medical difficulties and suffered from panic attacks, stress and anxiety.

Ms Bambury said her client has two young children and “is very devoted to them”. She also asked the court to note that Kavanagh, who was employed in a community employment scheme, had also done voluntary work in her area.

The court heard that Kavanagh, who remained silent during the case, had 22 previous convictions which included motoring offences and one drugs charge.

Judge McHugh imposed two concurrent four-month sentences for the drink-driving and driving without insurance offences. The remaining charge of stealing the ambulance was taken into consideration. Kavanagh was also banned from driving for four years.

The judge set bail in the accused’s own bond of €300 in the event she intends to appeal the sentences.