January 30, 2014

A man thrown out of a house party stole a car, drove it 40 kms and then torched it outside his own home.

Letterkenny District Court.

Letterkenny Court.

Sean Deeney appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court yesterday on a range of charges including arson, driving without insurance, driving without a license and taking a vehicle without authority.

Deeney, who was just 17 at the time, had been at a party at the home of Natalie McGee at Meencarrick, Gortahork.

When he was thrown out of the party, he went to another nearby house and stole an Isuzu car belonging to James McGlinchey.

The car was then found burned out close to the home of Sean Deeney at Clondallon, Rathmullan on November 19th, 2011.

Deeney was arrested following an investigation and admitted stealing the car on the third time of being interviewed by Gardai but claimed the keys had been in the vehicle.

The court heard that the owner of the car was still out money as his insurance company had only paid him €6,500 despite his claims that the car was worth €8,000.

The fire service had also sent him a bill for €960 but he was refusing to pay this as he had not started the fire.

Judge Keenan Johnston said a probation report on Deeney showed there was a moderate risk of reoffending but that he had shown genuine remorse.

He added that he needed to send out a message that what Deeney did was wrong but also to leave him a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

He sentenced Deeney to three years in prison but suspended it for five years.

He also ordered him to pay €2,500 compensation to Mr McGlinchey but that €960 of this goes to Donegal County Council to pay the fire service.

He also jailed him for three years but suspended this in lieu of 240 hours community service saying this was a way of Deeney giving something back to society.

He also banned him form driving for four years.

Judge Johnston then told the accused “You can count yourself very, very lucky. You hold the keys to the future in your own hand and the keys to prison in your own hand so it’s up to you now.”