Updated at 16:20
A MAN CHARGED in relation the abduction of a toddler during a car hijacking incident yesterday has appeared before Limerick District Court today.
Noel Price, 32, of Kileely Road, Limerick was charged with hijacking a car and made no reply when charged, RTÉ reports.
Price was arrested after a parked car was hijacked outside a shop on the Old Cratloe Road, Limerick, yesterday. Three children were in the car at the time; the eldest two were forced from the vehicle by a man who was armed with a screwdriver. He then made off with the car with a two-year-old boy still in the back seat.
The mother of the children, who had been on the school run when she popped into the Centra Shop at Woodview Shopping Centre, has spoken of her shock at what happened.
The mother of six had left the three children in the car with the keys in the ignition and the child lock on. The children were aged 11, 10 and two years old. Shortly afterwards, a man armed got into the car and ordered the children out, the Irish Times reports.
As the 11-year-old girl scrambled to release her two-year-old brother from his child-seat, the man drove the screwdriver into her back several times – forcing her from the car.
The mother said that her daughter ran into the shop shouting for help. When she ran to the door of the shop, she saw her car being driven away with her toddler still inside, the Irish Examiner reports. She said: ”I was just screaming and roaring for anyone to help,” she said, “I was thinking everything a mother would think. I didn’t know what he was going to do.”
The mother then saw the boy’s uncle, who happened to be driving to school with his own children at the time, and got into his car to follow her stolen car. In the meantime, the manager of the Woodview Centra store John McCoy, 49, rang the gardaí, reports the Irish Examiner.
They found the child abandoned by the side of the road soon afterwards.
All the children are reportedly shaken after the incident. The mother said that her 11-year-old daughter was particularly distressed, having been unable to rescue her little brother from the car.
“The eldest one that was in the car was taking it very bad. She was telling me that she was sorry – that she was trying to get him out and she couldn’t get him out,” the mother said, “She thought it was all her fault. It was just heart-breaking to be quite honest.”
The girl was also recovering after having being hurt when the attacker stuck the screwdriver into her back.
The man was arrested after a chase with gardaí, during which shots were fired.