Pregnant woman 'feared for her baby's life' during car theft 6 years ago

Pregnant woman 'feared for her baby's life' during car theft

A pregnant woman who was forced to run to safety on icy roads after car thieves threatened her life says the experience has left her with depression and anxiety.

Susan O'Leary and her husband Roddie were set upon by two men at 1.35am on New Years Eve, 2010 on Meath Street in Dublin. She told Dublin Circuit Criminal how one of the men threatened to shoot them if they didn't hand over the keys to their BMW.

Terrified, the couple fled from the scene when one of the thieves threatened them with a steering wheel lock.

“I initially feared I was going to lose my unborn child when we had to run on ice." Ms O'Leary told the court. " I now suffer from fear and anxiety and do not want to leave my house. I am a changed person.”

David Richards with an address at Basin Lane, St James’s Gate, pleaded guilty to the unauthorised taking of a car. He also admitted to drink driving and driving without insurance.

Judge Patrick McCartan handed down an 18-month suspended sentence and banned Richards, who had three previous convictions, from driving for 10 years.

Ms O'Leary pointed out that the case had “dragged on for four years” because Gardaí were unable to locate Richards, who, it is claimed, was afraid to go to jail.

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“What does an early guilty plea mean if he hasn’t been before the court in four years?” she asked.

Judge McCartan also ordered that €5,000 in compensation brought to court by the car thief be given to the O'Learys.

“He knew Mrs O’Leary was pregnant." he said. "Drink or no drink on him, he put them through a horrible experience,”