Limerick man who hijacked car is jailed

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

A YOUNG man was sentenced to two years imprisonment for hijacking a car and robbing the driver’s mobile phone and wallet.

A YOUNG man was sentenced to two years imprisonment for hijacking a car and robbing the driver’s mobile phone and wallet.

Michael Cawley, aged 18, of Whitecross Gardens, Moyross pleaded guilty to robbery and unlawfully seizing the red Audi car on April 4, 2011.

During a sentencing hearing, Garda David Hennessy told Limerick Circuit Court the owner of the Audi was approached by the defendant and another man at the Emo petrol station, Clare Street shortly after 10pm.

He said the men asked him for a lift, claiming that one of them had a sick relative who needed assistance.

However, once inside the car, Cawley claimed he had a gun and told the driver to go to a location in Corbally.

On arrival there, the owner of the car, who is originally from County Galway, was ordered to get out of the vehicle by the culprits.

After forcing him to hand over his wallet and phone, the men then drove off in his car.

Garda Hennessy said he and a colleague encountered the stolen Audi driving at speed at Greenhills Road, Garryowen at around 11.30pm.

He said the vehicle was pursued for a time before it was abandoned at Lelia Street.

During the pursuit, the car was observed driving the wrong way on a one-way street and through a number junctions without stopping.

Garda Hennessy said Cawley was found hiding on Canal Bank a short time after the vehicle was discovered.

Judge Carroll Moran was told the Audi had been badly damaged and had cost around €3,000 to repair.

Brian McInerney BL said the second culprit, who was named as Mr X, is not before the court as he has “evaporated and is in another jurisdiction”.

He said his client, who has a large number of criminal convictions, has a particular problem with prescription tablets but that he had made “detailed admissions” following his arrest.

Mr McInerney asked the court to take into account the delay in bringing the case to court - pointing out that at one point the proceedings were struck out in the district court due to the delay.

Judge Carroll Moran said Cawley has a terrible record but he said mitigating factors included his cooperation, his admissions and his guilty plea.

He imposed a four year prison sentence but suspended the final two years.