Jail for thief who wrote off €85,000 car in rush-hour chase
A MAN who caused €39,000 worth of damage to stationary cars during a chase with gardai in heavy evening traffic has been jailed for two years.
David Sullivan (36) had just been released on station bail having been arrested the previous night for a minor offence.
He later told gardai he was in a rush to see his son having had a "row with the missus".
Garda Brian Hunt told prosecuting barrister Lisa Dempsey that Sullivan stole a €85,000 black BMW from outside the owner's gated home in Donnybrook. He claimed that the owner had left the keys in the ignition but the owner's mother had borrowed the car and left the keys in an outside post box, which is where Sullivan stole them from.
This car was later written off by the owner's insurance company after it was deemed to be worth €25,000 following the pursuit.
Gda Hunt said Sullivan was spotted by gardai in the BMW stopped at traffic lights on Waterloo Road, Ballsbridge, and directed to pull over.
He refused to do so, which resulted in a high-speed chase during which Sullivan crashed into several stationary cars and caused several pedestrians to jump out of his way.
He broke numerous red lights and stop signs, drove the wrong way down one-way streets, over roundabouts, on the wrong side of the road and mounted kerbs during the five-minute chase which ended on South Circular Road.
The chase ended when Sullivan crashed into a van, swerved across the road and hit a wall.
Sullivan was taken to nearby St James's hospital where he was treated. He was then arrested and taken to the garda station, whereupon he started to become abusive.
Sullivan, of Old Nangor Road, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 16 charges, which included stealing a car, trespass, public order, driving without insurance, five charges of criminal damage to the cars and seven charges of dangerous driving in the south Dublin area on July 25, 2012.
His 60 previous convictions included forgery, assault, trespass and road traffic convictions.
Defence barrister Michael Hourigan said that Sullivan was using heroin by the time he was 16. He rehabilitated in his mid-20s, then trained and worked as a drug councillor.
However, a serious accident in 2008 triggered drug addiction again and he started to re-offend.
Judge Nolan accepted that Sullivan had previously been a worthwhile contributor to society. But he added: "You drove through crowded and busy streets endangering a lot of people." He jailed Sullivan for two years and disqualified him from driving for 10 years.