Jail for getaway driver who mounted footpath and killed woman

by Gazette Reporter

A getaway driver who lost control of a defective car following a robbery and mounted a footpath killing one woman and seriously injuring another has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Darren Rowe (35) was tracked on CCTV after fleeing the scene without helping the women and was heard saying to his co-accused, “Eddie, what am I after doing”?

The men were later seen in a pub drinking a pint and sitting with their heads in their hands.

Rowe, of Dunedin Terrace, Monkstown, Dublin pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Jacqueline McGovern and failing to report being the driver of a vehicle involved in the occurrence of injury to Audrey Behan at Avondale Road, Killiney on March 10. 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to having no insurance and driving a dangerous defective vehicle.

Rowe, who has 32 previous convictions, was also disqualified from driving at the time.

A co-accused Edward Andrews (26) of Belarmine Hall, Stepaside received a 39 month sentence in October.

Brendan McGovern, husband of Jacqueline, noted in his victim impact statement that the driver had not stopped to help in any way. “That callous and inhumane act troubles me deeply,” he said.

He told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the family would never be the same again and the loss would impact him every day for the rest of his life. He thanked the gardai and emergency services.

Ms Behan outlined to the court her heartbreak at the loss of her best friend whose smile she said would “light up the darkest of rooms.” She said the violent and reckless way Jacqueline was taken that day while they were out walking would haunt her for the rest of her life.

Ms Behan said she still suffers physical and psychological effects from her injuries.

Judge Martin Nolan noted the contents of other victim impact statements also handed in to court from other family members.

He said dangerous driving causing death was a very elastic offence ranging from no culpability to very serious cases.

He said in this case there were aggravating circumstances such as the fact Rowe was driving at reckless speed and lost control, that he was trying to escape and was driving a defective vehicle.

He also noted there was evidence that Rowe had been drinking prior to the offence. He said the court did not know how much but it was relevant.

In mitigation he took into account Rowe’s remorse, work history, insight into his wrongdoing and that he is capable of reform.

Judge Nolan imposed a sentence of seven and a half years imprisonment.

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