Sunday 24 June 2018

Dublin man who went on cocaine-fuelled driving rampage armed with machine gun jailed

Seized multiple vehicles from their owners at gunpoint and led gardaí on a dangerous high speed chase

Joseph Rafferty, with an address at Russell Place, Russell Square in Tallaght
Joseph Rafferty, with an address at Russell Place, Russell Square in Tallaght

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Dublin man who went on a cocaine-fuelled driving rampage armed with a sub-machine gun has been jailed for nine years.

Joseph Rafferty (38) seized multiple vehicles from their owners at gunpoint and led gardaí on a dangerous high speed chase because he believed his wife was having an affair, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.

His crimes over the eight hour spree include false imprisonment, aggravated burglary, threats with a machine gun and reckless endangerment. The area he covered from start to finish was 45km.

Chief Superintendent Brian Sutton revealed that 50 gardaí were deployed in Rafferty's pursuit throughout the day, including air support and members of the Garda Dog Unit.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that “hardened criminals could go through their entire career and not commit this number of serious offences”.

The judge said is was an “incredible litany of frightening crimes” and that “people had every right to believe they would be killed”. He noted that “thankfully” nobody was seriously injured, apart from a head laceration one man sustained when Rafferty broke into his home to get his car keys.

Rafferty, of Brookview Lawns, Tallaght pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary at Watergate Estate, Tallaght and assaulting the homeowner on October 10, 2017.

He pleaded guilty to criminal damage, two counts of carjacking, three of possessing a sub-machine gun, unlawful possession of 9mm Luger ammunition and reckless endangerment in south west locations in the city on the same date.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing a vehicle from Carroll and Roche Subaru dealership, Newlands Cross, Clondalkin.

The father-of-four has 34 previous convictions, and has received lengthy sentences here and in the UK for robbery and burglaries. He got an eight year jail term in 2010 with the final four suspended for robbery.

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