Land Cruiser sold at Woodie’s car park for €11,600 was found afterwards to be a stolen car
By Jessica Magee
A man who sold a stolen car on DoneDeal and later stole a different car that had been advertised on the classified ads site is to be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Noel Ryan (42), of Charleville Mall, pleaded guilty on the date of his scheduled trial to handling a stolen Toyota Land Cruiser and deception at Woodie’s car park in Lucan on June 27, 2016.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
He further admitted the unauthorised taking of a Ford Fiesta at Northside Shopping Centre on March 24, 2017.
Garda Seamus Wallace from the Garda Stolen Car Unit told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that he was contacted by the first victim who had spotted an advertisement on DoneDeal for a Toyota Land Cruiser.
The man told gardai he rang the number and the person who answered by the name of “Paul” said he wanted €12,500 for the car but that if he got cash he would take €12,000.
They arranged to meet at Woodie’s car park in Lucan and the buyer arrived with his brother, followed 15 minutes later by the landcruiser driven by Ryan.
The complainant went for a test drive and noticed a few marks on the car, so a price of €11,600 was agreed. The man handed over the cash and Ryan left very quickly, without saying goodbye.
The victim said he posted the car’s log book, signed by a Paul Hayden, to the VRT department in Shannon, who informed him that it was a false document.
It emerged that the car had been recently stolen from a home in Drogheda.
In a victim impact statement, the complainant said he had received the €11,600 from an accident claim after his mother had been killed in a road crash.
He said it was very upsetting that this money had gone into criminal hands and had caused a huge financial strain on his family.
The man said he had lost a total of €12,400 and had not got a penny back.
Nine months later, the second complainant advertised his Ford Fiesta for sale on DoneDeal and arranged to meet a caller at Northside Shopping Centre.
Ryan arrived at the meeting, checked the mileage and asked to go for a test drive. The complainant was determined not to let the man go on his own and was just about to open the passenger door and sit in beside him when Ryan took off.
The complainant had left his driver’s license in the car.
Ryan had been on bail at the time of these offences.
Later that week, Ryan was arrested on a different matter and was found in possession of the complainant’s driving license, having superimposed his own photo on it.
Ryan has 16 previous convictions, two of which were for Circuit Court offences, including aggravated burglary and robbery.
Garda Wallace agreed with counsel for Ryan that the accused had been well-known to gardai because of his crack cocaine addiction, but that he had a 13-year period of not offending.
Counsel for Ryan said that his client had a history of drug addiction but had managed to desist from drugs and crime between 2000 and 2014, during which time he worked in construction and supported his family.
The court heard Ryan lost his job during the recession and relapsed into drug use, leading to the break-up of his relationship with the mother of his three children.
Counsel for Ryan said he was currently making a determined effort while in custody on other matters to return to drug-free, crime-free life.
Judge John O’Connor said drug addiction was not a mitigating factor and was of little comfort to the victims in the case.
He adjourned the matter for sentencing on June 21, pending the preparation of a probation report.