Derry Crown Court
A man who hijacked a car in Derry and eventually crashed it in Donegal has been jailed for three years.
Kevin Doherty, whose address was given on court papers as c/o Magilligan Prison, pleaded guilty to hijacking and dangerous driving on July 5, 2013.
Derry Crown Court heard a woman walked towards her car in the Clooney Terrace area of the Waterside shortly after 10pm.
As she got into her car, the 25-year-old appeared at the driver’s door and screamed at her to ‘get out of the f****** car’.
He grabbed the woman and pulled her out of the vehicle.
The court heard his face was covered by a scarf and the injured party attempted to pull it down from his face.
Doherty drove off in the vehicle stopping to pick up two females at an off-licence.
The car was seen going through a red light, speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road.
Police pursued the car across the Foyle Bridge as it headed towards Donegal and at times it was travelling at 100 mph.
Police eventually abandoned the chase for safety reasons.
CCTV footage showed the car being driven erratically.
Half an hour after the hijacking, the car crashed between Muff and Quigley’s Point in Donegal.
Doherty was taken to Letterkenny Hospital and was detained by Gardai.
He was sentenced to eight months in custody in the Republic and disqualified from driving for 10 years.
Doherty was then arrested in the North three weeks after being released from prison.
The court heard that he had 45 previous convictions and this offence occurred some three weeks after he was released on licence from a previous sentence.
Judge Philip Babington said he was satisfied that the defendant posed a ‘significant risk of re-offending’ .
The judge said the incident was ‘completely unacceptable’ and was aggravated by the fact that it had taken place under the cover of darkness and that violence had been used.
He added it was luck that prevented Doherty’s driving causing serious injury.
Doherty was sentenced to three years in prison with half of that being spent in custody and half on licence.
He was also disqualified from driving for three years.