Not alone did the woman experience the fear of having her car seized from her but she was also put at a significant loss by having to spend €4,000 on a replacement car after the culprit crashed her car into a wall outside Cork City.
John Forde, of 32 Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeny, Cork, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with the last year suspended by Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.
Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan said Forde accosted the woman, took her car keys from her, and drove away in her car.
The sergeant said the car was found an hour later crashed with a young man behind the wheel at Currycippane, Lee Rd, Cork, on September 7, 2017.
Det Sgt O’Sullivan said that at 10.45am that morning, the woman was standing beside her car at Great William O’Brien St when a young man approached and grabbed the keys from her hand and took off in the car.
Just over an hour later, at 11.50am, the car was found crashed at Currycippane.
In the victim impact statement, the woman said she felt very intimidated by what happened and no longer felt safe in the area.
“I keep thinking there is someone in my car,” she said. “I could not sleep for months afterwards. I had to attend my doctor a few times.
“I had to buy a new car. I put €4,000 into that. That seems so unfair.
“I thought he was going to kill me, I really did. I will always remember the cuts on his arms.”
Det Sgt O’Sullivan said the accused had nine convictions for stealing cars. This was the first time where he seized a car from an owner.
Paula McCarthy, defending, said the accused had written a letter of apology to the victim in which he expressed remorse.
She said he had psychiatric difficulties in the past.
The judge said the accused had shown a mindless regard for others and their property.