Hero Boy, 10, Hangs on to Moving Jeep as Sister Escapes from Predator; Gardai Praise for 'Exceptional Children' Who Foiled Terrifying Kidnap Bid by Twisted Thug

The Mirror (London, England), October 30, 2015 | Go to article overview

Hero Boy, 10, Hangs on to Moving Jeep as Sister Escapes from Predator; Gardai Praise for 'Exceptional Children' Who Foiled Terrifying Kidnap Bid by Twisted Thug


Byline: EOGHAN MacCONNELL

GARDAI yesterday praised a heroic 10-year-old boy who clung to a moving jeep as his sister was being abducted.

The schoolboy grabbed the window of the 4x4 to rescue his 11-year-old sibling when Michael Martin pulled her into his jeep in Co Laois on March 4. The 36-year-old, who has nearly 100 convictions, admitted falsely imprisoning the girl.

Gda Anne Marie Deegan told Portlaoise Circuit Court the girl and her brothers, twin 10-year-olds, were playing at a rural spot in Cullohill when they were approached by a man in a Nissan X-Trail.

She added the girl "was picked up and put into the SUV through the driver's door across the passenger seat".

The man then tried to drive away but one of the brothers "ran up, reached in and attempted to strike the driver in the vehicle".

The boy continued "hanging off " the jeep and when it slowed, he got off the vehicle and chased after it.

His actions distracted the driver giving his sister enough time to escape. Gda Deegan said the children were able to give a description of their attacker and part of the jeep's registration.

Prosecutor Will Fennelly said "a large amount of Garda resources were deployed to locate this vehicle and driver".

CCTV footage was taken from nearby business and residences and gardai found an earlier report of a similar vehicle acting suspiciously at Durrow.

Martin, of Shandon Court, Yellow Road, Waterford city, was arrested the next day outside Castlecomer.

He admitted stealing the jeep but, Mr Fennelly, added: "At no time during these interviews did he admit it was he who attempted to abduct this child".

The court heard both the girl and her brother identified the defendant in two ID parades at Portlaoise Garda station. Gda Deegan praised the community for their help in the investigation and described the siblings as "exceptional children". …

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