Suspended sentence for Limerick man who stole three cars in less than 24 hours

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Limerick District Court was told the defendant was arrested on the afternoon on June 25

Limerick District Court was told the defendant was arrested on the afternoon on June 25

A LIMERICK man who was involved in the theft of three different cars in less than 24 hours has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Charles Flynn, aged 27, of no fixed abode pleaded guilty to several charges relating to a bizzare sequence of events which happened across three different counties on June 24 and June 25, last.

Limerick District Court was told the defendant was arrested on the afternoon on June 25 after he was stopped at Roxboro Road while driving a car which had been stolen near Cratloe Woods the previous day.

Inspector Dermot O’Connor said while Flynn was in custody in relation to that incident he made admissions in relation to the theft of two other vehicles over the previous 24 hours.

One of the cars, which was taken from outside a house in Corbally, was burnt out near Cratloe Woods while the second – which was stolen from outside a house in Gort, Co. Galway –  was recovered intact in Limerick.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told while Flynn did not steal the car in Castletroy, he “got into the vehicle” in the Thomondate area of the city.

The car was then driven to the Cratloe area where it was burnt out after getting stuck in a ditch.

The father-of-three told gardai he stole the car in Gort at around 3am so that he could return to Limerick after he “found himself” in the County Galway town late at night.

Insp O’Connor said Flynn, who has more than 90 previous convictions, took the car and drove to Limerick after he used a “rod” to fish the keys which had been left inside the front door.

Solicitor John Herbert said his client, who was a promising young basketball player, had a difficult upbringing and “fell into drugs and crime”.

He said he has been homeless in the past and has lived on the streets at times.

Mr Herbert told the court his client had been in a steady relationship for some time but that things became “extremely messy” when it broke down.

“Things had been going very well from him. He took it very badly,” he said adding that he then began associating with the “wrong people” and engaging in further criminality.

By way of explanation, he said Flynn had “taken a lift” to Cratloe Woods and that the car, which had been stolen, was subsequently crashed into a ditch.

He said after the car caught fire, he left the area and “found another car nearby” which he used to return to Limerick.

Mr Hebert said his client “told gardai everything” following his arrest later in the day and has been in prison, on remand, since.

Imposing sentence, Judge O’Leary said the defendant’s previous convictions were an aggravating factor and she said the incident in Gort was “awful” for the family involved.

She imposed a four month prison sentence in relation to the Gort incident, which she suspended for two years on condition Flynn does not reoffend.

A separate five month prison sentence was back-dated to June 25 last while the third matter was adjourned to next March for a garda progress report.