Woman jailed for theft of ambulance

A mother of two, who stole an ambulance during an emergency call-out in Dublin in January, has been jailed for four months.

A mother of two, who stole an ambulance during an emergency call-out in Dublin in January, has been jailed for four months.

Paramedics had left the ambulance at Hardwicke Street in the north inner city, to attend to an elderly woman at around 3am on January 8 last, when it was taken.

Jessica Kavanagh (aged 27), of Sean O’Casey Avenue, in Dublin had pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court earlier to stealing the ambulance, drunken driving and not having motor insurance.

A drink drive test produced a reading of 145mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

Garda Joseph O'Connor had told the court that a Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance was taken from outside Rory O’Connor House as two emergency crew were dealing with an elderly woman.

Garda O’Connor saw the ambulance going towards Sean O’Casey Avenue. He then witnessed the defendant leaving the driver’s side of the ambulance before chasing and arresting her.

At the sentence hearing today, defence solicitor Yvonne Bambury told Judge David McHugh that Kavanagh did not go out often and was not “habituated to consuming that level of alcohol.”

She said the defendant had a history of medical difficulties and suffered from panic attacks, stress and anxiety.

Ms Bambury said her client has two young children and “is very devoted to them.”

She also asked the court to note that Kavanagh, who was employed in a community employment scheme, had also done voluntary work in her area.

The solicitor said she saw her client in garda custody immediately after her arrest and “to say she was distraught would be an understatement.”

The court heard that Kavanagh, who remained silent during the case, had 22 previous convictions which included motoring offences and one drugs charge.

Judge McHugh imposed two concurrent four-month sentences for the drink driving and driving without insurance offences. The remaining charge for stealing the ambulance was taken into consideration.

Kavanagh was also banned from driving for four years.

The judge set bail in the accused's own bond of €300 in the event she intends to appeal the sentences.

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