Monday 23 April 2018

Driver who took off in stolen van while garda tried to breathalyse him jailed

Stock picture
Stock picture

Sonya McLean

A driver who took off in a stolen van while a garda was partially in the vehicle trying to breathalyse him has been jailed for two and half years.

Eoin O'Sullivan (28) had just been stopped by Garda Blaine Feely on the M50 southbound at Santry on suspicion of dangerous driving on November 24, 2014 .

O'Sullivan of Bride Valley View, Fair Hill, came forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty, of endangerment and unlawful use of a stolen vehicle, from the District Court.

After he was stopped, the garda produced a breathalyser after getting a strong smell of alcohol off O'Sullivan, who had been disqualified from driving five times, and instructed him to turn off the van.

O'Sullivan refused and took off while Gda Feely had one foot in the foot well of the passenger side of the vehicle. The garda had to jump out to avoid being injured.

O'Sullivan drove for 50 meters before he performed a U-turn and travelled back on the wrong side of the M50. He continued onto the M1, travelling the wrong way up the exit ramp before he collided with another vehicle at the Oscar Traynor Road Roundabout.

Gda O'Sullivan told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that he traced the white Ford Transit box van to a burglary in Louth.

The van had been taken that same afternoon and O'Sullivan had been spotted on various CCTV footage in the area at the time.

The court was told O'Sullivan has 195 previous convictions, including dangerous driving, driving without insurance and a license, careless driving and drink driving.

O'Sullivan had taken a circuit court bench warrant at the time when he failed to show up for a robbery offence. He was later convicted and jailed and his earliest release date is December 2018.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced O'Sullivan to two and half years consecutive to the term he is currently serving.

He said O'Sullivan had initially stopped for Gda Feely but had second thoughts and drove away while the garda was partially in the car. “Thankfully no one was injured,” Judge Nolan commented.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said O'Sullivan began to “go off the rails” when he was nine years old and ended up in various institutions.

He started to “dabble in cannabis” when he was 17 years old and later both smoked and injected heroin.

Counsel told Judge Nolan that O'Sullivan had a deeply embedded drug addiction problem which he was trying to deal with it while on remand in prison.

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