Irish teen hijacks a car to drive himself to court

This happened just before Christmas, I was unable to post it at the time due to university regulations about assignment materials, I’m all clear now. It just feels like the kind of story that is worth telling later rather than never:

A teenager who hijacked a car to make his way to Blanchardstown District Court on December 21st, 2010 was given a three-year prison sentence, of which the last 18 months were suspended.

The court heard that Darren Farrell, of 44 Montpelier Gardens in Dublin 7, returned to the red Nissan Micra he was driving that day to find it clamped in the carpark of the Bank of Ireland on the main street in Blanchardstown.

He then approached the occupier of the neighbouring car, a 12 year-old boy who was waiting for his mother to return from an errand. Farrell opened the car door, threatened the child verbally, ordered him to get out and took off with the black Seat car accompanied by his brother.

Having parked the stolen car at the Leisureplex in Blanchardstown, Farrell made his way to the Blanchardstown District court, where was arrested after trying to flush the stolen keyring down the toilet. The ignition key of the hijacked car was found in his possession.

He conceded he may have ordered the young victim out of the car a bit loudly and when asked how old he thought the boy was, he replied: “10, 11, 12, I’d hardly threaten a young fella.” He denied having threatened to kill him.

The victim impact statement outlined that the victim had been very traumatised by the incident and that his sense of personal safety had been destroyed. He was described as having become depressed, aggressive, slightly more cynical.

Farrell, who was 18 at the time of the crime, has 62 previous convictions, which included abusive behaviour, damage to property, assault, threatening and abusive behaviour and possession of drugs. He has been in custody since April 27th 2011, serving a 22 month sentence for another offence.

Farrell was described as having learning difficulties and as having fallen in with the wrong crowd following his junior certificate. He presented an apology to the victim through his defence team. The court heard that Farrell has been taking responsibility for his actions and now hopes to complete his leaving certificate and to go on to take FAS courses.

Judge Martin Nolan declared that Farrell was on an escapade of crime which he seemed incapable of stopping. However, he said that Farrell’s young age prevented him from imposing a punitive sentence.

He sentenced Farrell to a three year jail sentence with the last 18 months suspended on three conditions, including good behaviour following his release, probation supervision and the payment of a 50 euro bond.

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About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

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