A KNIFE-wielding man “pursued” a woman around a petrol station forecourt, demanding her keys before getting them and driving off in her car, it is alleged.

Owen Kavanagh (50) was “in the throes of a mental breakdown” at the time of the alleged carjacking that came to an end when gardaí deployed a “stinger” device, a court heard.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail when he appeared in Dublin District Court.

Mr Kavanagh, with an address at St Mary’s Road, East Wall, is charged with possession of a weapon and unauthorised taking of a car.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Campus Oil, East Wall Road, on January 4.

Objecting to bail, Garda Sergeant Michelle Lynch said it would be alleged the accused walked into the forecourt of the garage and approached a woman at the petrol pumps.

It was alleged he produced a large knife from his back pocket, demanded her car keys and “pursued her around the forecourt” to obtain them.

Sgt Lynch said it was the prosecution’s case that the woman attempted to back away and he followed her, brandishing the knife. She stumbled and threw her keys, then ran into the garage shop.

It was alleged the accused got into the shop, holding the knife to scare off two members of the public, then fled in the vehicle he had taken.

Sgt Lynch said Mr Kavanagh was caught “red handed” in the car, after attempting to evade gardaí, who deployed a stinger to halt it.

She said the forecourt of the garage was covered by two CCTV cameras, with footage of “exceptional quality” in which Mr Kavanagh was identifiable. When arrested, he was wearing clothes that matched what was seen on the footage.

The knife was also recovered, the court heard. DPP directions would be sought for a hijacking charge.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Yvonne Bambury said there was nothing to suggest Mr Kavanagh was a flight risk or would interfere with witnesses.

The accused had been in “the throes of a mental breakdown” at the time, she said.

When he was arrested and taken to the garda station, he was so ill, he could not be interviewed for six hours.

Kavanagh and his wife had four children between them and he had a home and supports available.

He had worked as a labourer but was now on disability benefit because of chronic depression.

He and his family had little or no means.

Judge Judge Bryan Smyth said they were very serious allegations but the accused was presumed innocent. He granted bail in the accused’s own bond of €200, with an independent surety of €2,000, half in cash.

Under conditions, Mr Kavanagh must sign on twice weekly at Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station, live at his home address, stay away from the garage and have no contact with any staff.

At Ms Bambury’s request, he recommended immediate psychiatric treatment for the accused in custody.

Mr Kavanagh was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on January 7. He has not yet indicated pleas to the charges.

Extracted in full from: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/knife-wielding-man-chased-woman-around-a-petrol-station-for-keys-court-hears-39935958.html