Car thief told only reason he is alive because he stole a BMW

April 28, 2019

A joyrider was told he was alive because he stole a BMW car.

Thomas McDonagh was thrown into a field after he lost control of the car and ended up in a field before it hit a tree.

McDonagh, aged 23, appeared before Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal charged with dangerous driving and theft.

The court was told that McDonagh stole the car from the village of Killea on March 18th, 2017.

Garda forensic officers estimated the car thief was travelling at a speed of 91kph when he tried to take a bend which was only safe to take at a maximum speed of between 33kph and 44kph.

A Garda patrol came across McDonagh after he had left the road and ended up in a field with a serious head injury.

Solicitor for McDonagh, Patsy Gallagher said his client was lucky to be alive today.

“My client was lucky to be in the kind of car he was in – it saved his life. It was a BMW 520 SE.

“He has simply no recollection of what happened.

“He had an internal bleed and needed a lot of medical attention and does not remember anything,” he said.

Garda Inspector Michael Harrison agreed saying “It is a miracle the defendant is here today.”

The court heard that McDonagh, who is on remand at Castlerea Prison, traveled for about a mile and a half before he crashed.

He had earlier taken the car after finding the keys on the car’s central aisle.

Judge Paul Kelly was told that the owner of the car was out the value of the car but had not been compensated.

He said that the crime deserved a sentence of six months in prison but taking into account that McDonagh had no previous convictions, he was reducing the sentence to three months.

He also disqualified the accused man from driving for two years and fined him €300.