herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Driver caught in stolen vehicle claimed he was 'doing a favour' for a pal

A plasterer caught driving a stolen vehicle has claimed he was only driving the 'newly bought car' home as a favour to a friend.
A plasterer caught driving a stolen vehicle has claimed he was only driving the 'newly bought car' home as a favour to a friend.

A PLASTERER caught driving a stolen vehicle has claimed he was only driving the 'newly bought car' home as a favour to a friend.

Robert McDonnell (32) said he "innocently tried to do a good deed for a friend".

He said he had no idea the car, a black Citroen, was stolen, as he saw his friend, David Kennedy, hand over cash to another man, and thought he saw him sign the logbook.

McDonnell could also only give gardai vague descriptions of the car seller and where the transaction had taken place as he claimed he had "no interest" in the deal.

Mr Kennedy said he bought the car for €2,700 as a birthday present for his girlfriend and asked McDonnell to drive it home because he was banned from driving at the time.

However, Judge Ann Watkin said she "didn't believe a word" and found McDonnell guilty of driving a stolen vehicle.

The judge adjourned sentencing to a date in November.

Garda Peter Keenan said he was travelling northbound on the M50 at Ballymount on October 5, 2014, when he stopped McDonnell.

bought

Gda Keenan did a registration check on the vehicle and discovered it had been reported stolen on September 14.

Gda Keenan said McDonnell, of Rathmullan Park in Drogheda, told him Mr Kennedy had bought the car from a man in Shankill and he was driving it home for him as a favour.

Gda Keenan said McDonnell gave "extremely vague details" of the car seller and where in Shankill the car had been sold.

In his evidence, McDonnell, a father of four, said he "wasn't paying much heed" to what was happening during the 'sale'.

He also claimed he was "taken aback" when the garda told him the vehicle was stolen. He further stated he had no reason to suspect the car was stolen.

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