Attempted carjacker avoids jail term

A woman was dragged from her car and knocked to the ground by a man trying to take her vehicle at a service station.

Hugh Maguire was yesterday given a suspended jail sentence after the case had previously been adjourned to permit him to seek addiction treatment at Coolmine in Co Dublin.

Elizabeth O’Connell, defending, spoke of Maguire’s period in treatment: “Not only has he passed but passed with flying colours.”

She reminded Judge Gerard O’Brien of his previous warning the case was serious enough to merit a hefty jail term. However, the judge last year gave Maguire a chance to turn his life around and the evidence was he did so.

Judge O’Brien said: “There were excellent testimonials from last year and even better ones this year. He showed remorse on the night.”

The judge imposed an 18-month suspended jail sentence yesterday.

Garda Aoife Hayes had previously stated at Cork Circuit Criminal Court the victim had been working a second job at night in order to pay her mortgage. But she had since quit that job as she was in fear of travelling home alone, late at night.

Maguire, of 28 Ravensdale Road, Mahon, Cork, admitted an attempted late-night robbery of the car at the Esso station on South Link Road, Cork on July 14 last year. He also admitted a related charge of attempted seizure of the car by force.

Garda Hayes said the woman was sitting in her Nissan Qashqai at around 11.30pm when a man, later identified as Maguire, pulled her from her vehicle. She was knocked to the ground and banged her head off tiles. She was assisted by two men.

She ran to the safety of the garage where the door was locked against Maguire.

She was able to lock the car so Maguire could not interfere with it. However, he continued to make efforts to gain entry. Eventually, he gave up and walked away but was identified on CCTV.

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