05/08/2021

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Man who dragged retired doctor by her handbag as he was driving off in her car to be sentenced later

Man who dragged retired doctor by her handbag as he was driving off in her car to be sentenced later

A man who dragged a retired doctor by her handbag as he was driving off in the victim’s car has been remanded in prison pending sentence later.

Patrick Doyle (35) was hiding behind the 72-year-old’s car when he opened the car door to steal the car keys. The woman spotted him and wrestled with him but ultimately ran to get help.

Doyle drove for about 10 meters before he noticed that the woman had a handbag in her hand so he stopped the vehicle, got out and tried to take it from her. The woman again grappled with Doyle and refused to let go of the bag.

CCTV footage of the incident was played to the court during which Doyle can be seen dragging the woman along the ground around the front of the car as she continues to hold onto her bag. He then gets into the car and tries to drive away as both he and the woman hold onto the strap of the bag.

The victim is dragged a little on the ground before she releases her bag and rolls away from the car.

Detective Garda Cian Fleming told Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL, prosecuting, that the victim, a retired GP, let go of the bag because she was terrified she was going to be run over.

He told the court that the woman had unlocked her car and put her shopping bags and car keys on the front passenger seat before she went to the back of a car to remove a cone she had placed there to secure her parking space.

It was while she was removing the cone that Doyle came from his hiding spot and reached in to the front seat to take the keys.

Det Gda Fleming said a doctor, who was cycling to work, heard the woman shouting for help and came to her assistance. An ambulance and gardaí were alerted but the victim was not seriously injured, apart from some minor bruising.

She gave gardaí a description of the culprit and Det Gda Fleming said his colleagues stopped a man fitting that description a short distance away. He was still driving the victim’s car and the woman’s property was in the car.

Doyle of Pigeon House Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to seizing a vehicle by force or threat and robbery of a handbag and its contents in Dublin 2, on October 11, 2020.

Doyle has 104 previous convictions which were all dealt with in the District Court apart from one robbery conviction that was dealt with in the Circuit Court.

Det Gda Fleming said the woman did not make a victim impact statement, but she was terrified that she was going to be killed during the incident.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned the case to November 3, next, and remanded Doyle in continuing custody. She ordered a number of reports for the next hearing.

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, told Judge Greally that his client wished to pass his apologies onto the victim.

“He is devastated to find himself in a position that his drug offence led him to a point where he would commit an offence such as this,” Mr Le Vert said after telling the court that Doyle has reduced his methadone intake in prison and is working with a drug counsellor.

He asked that the case be adjourned to allow Doyle time to “put his best foot forward” and to also give him the opportunity to complete a rehabilitation programme he has started in Cloverhill prison.

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