A 47-year-old man has been accused of stealing a car from a woman in Dublin as she delivered vitally needed medication to elderly people cocooning in their homes to avoid covid-19.
Patrick Dignam from Kimmage Road Lower, Kimmage, in Dublin was charged with motor theft at St Martin’s Park, also in Kimmage, and theft of the car owner’s keys and her handbag on Wednesday evening.
He was refused bail when he appeared before Judge Dermot Dempsey at Dublin District Court today.
Garda Jason Hurley said the accused made no reply when charged.
The garda objected to bail due to the seriousness of the offence.
He alleged the car owner had been helping senior citizens in the locality who have been restricted to their homes.
The garda said:
It was alleged the woman parked outside a house at St Martin’s Park to deliver medicine and left her keys in her car.
She then noticed it being driven away at about 6pm in the direction of Kimmage Road Lower.
Another garda observed it being driven erratically and later saw a man standing beside the driver’s door.
The keys and handbag were recovered nearby and the accused allegedly fled on foot.
Gardai also seized the accused’s jacket and a neck lanyard belonging to the woman. There was also CCTV evidence, the court heard.
The judge heard he made admissions to taking the handbag and keys from the car.
There were Garda fears the accused would interfere with witnesses because he lived about 100 yards from the house where the car was taken.
Defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe said his client was a diagnosed schizophrenic who lived in the locality, and he was co-operative with gardai.
The offence can result in maximum sentences of 10 years for theft and five for the motor theft.
Refusing bail, Judge Dempsey remanded Mr Dignam in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court next Thursday. He acceded to a request from the defence to request medical attention for Mr Dignam in custody.
Legal aid was granted after the judge noted the man was on social welfare.
Mr Dignam sat silently at the side of the courtroom throughout the hearing and has not yet indicated how he will plead.