Saturday 17 March 2018

Australian man tried to ram garda car four times during high speed chase in stolen truck

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A young Australian man who tried to ram a garda car four times during a high-speed chase in a stolen truck has walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

Adam O’Mara was aged 17 when he led gardaí on a 40-minute motorway chase, weaving between heavy traffic and overtaking on the wrong side of the road.

O’Mara (20) now living at Lower Stabannon, County Louth, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawful use of a white Toyota Dyna, dangerous driving and driving with no insurance on N1 Motorway Drogheda on February 8, 2012.

He has four previous minor convictions.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring sentenced O'Mara to two and a half years in prison but suspended it fully after noting that he seems to have taken steps to deal with his drug misuse.

She described O’Mara’s behaviour as “outrageous” and warned him that a vehicle “is not a toy”.

“A vehicle is a weapon and people who drive it like you do deserve to go to jail,” she said.

Judge Ring disqualified O'Mara from driving for four years and ordered him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two and a half years.

She also ordered him to comply with Probation Services and comply with directions in relation to training, education and drug treatment.

A probation order showed that since the offence, O'Mara has completed a welding course and has applied for ongoing training.

Garda James Mulhern told Seamus Clarke BL, prosecuting, that the truck’s owner had reported it missing the day before it was spotted in convoy with another Toyota Dyna near Dublin Airport.

Both vehicles began dangerously overtaking traffic when the garda cars activated their blue lights.

The trucks split up at a roundabout and Gda Mulhern followed O’Mara. He said O’Mara tried to ram his car and continued overtaking and undertaking traffic.

The then teenager swerved to ram the garda car as he took the Swords exit onto the motorway. He threw cans and bottles, causing Gda Mulhern to reduce speed.

O’Mara drove through the closed toll bridge by undertaking cars and ploughing into traffic cones. At this stage the Toyota Dyna had started to emit black smoke. The vehicle eventually came to a stop as the smoke got worse.

Gda Mulhern agreed with James Dwyer BL, defending, that his client had returned to Ireland from Australia to meet the case.

O’Mara’s mother told the court that the offending behaviour occurred at a time when she was in financial trouble and her son was associating with negative peers.

Mr Dwyer said his client had since “pulled up his socks” and has stopped using cannabis.

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