Tuesday 23 April 2019

Man (29) who led gardai on high-speed chase had already been banned from driving for 40 years - court heard

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A DANGEROUS driver who led gardai on a high-speed chase in west Dublin had already been banned from driving for 40 years, a court heard.

Graham Taylor (29) sped away from a garda who recognised him while stopped at a junction, driving at more than 120kph in a 50kph zone while families were “out and about” in the area on Father’s Day.

Taylor, from Kiltalown Park, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to three counts of endangerment and three of dangerous driving. He was tried by Dublin Circuit Criminal jury and found guilty.

Judge Karen O’Connor adjourned sentencing to next week.

At a sentence hearing today, Detective Garda David Jennings said he was driving an unmarked patrol car at Brookfield Road in Tallaght at 12.30pm on June 19, 2016.

As he waited for lights to change at a junction he saw a blue VW Passat coming from the direction of the Naas Road. He recognised the accused driving and saw he had grown a beard.

When the lights turned green, the Passat took off at high speed, breaking another red light and overtaking traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road and forcing oncoming cars to brake hard to avoid a collision.

The Passat went the wrong way around Molly Heffernan’s Roundabout, nearly colliding with cars. Traffic had to brake hard and mount the footpath to avoid it on Fortunestown Lane. The patrol car followed at 120kph in a 100kph zone, with the Passat pulling away from it, Det Gda Jennings continued.

It drove past Lidl at high speed on the wrong side of the road and up Citywest Road before the gardai lost sight of it.

There were lots of families out and about as it was Fathers’ Day, Det Gda Jennings said.

Taylor had 121 previous convictions, including nearly 100 for motoring offences, 11 of which were for dangerous driving.

Det Gda Jennings agreed with defence barrister Karl Monahan that the area was “largely industrialised” but said it was also a route for people going in and out of housing estates.

The incident lasted for two minutes and there were no collisions or injuries.

Taylor previously worked in a garage and now wanted to get work as an electrician. He had succumbed to drug use at and early age and many of his prior convictions were from when he was a juvenile.

Taylor now had a young child and was motivated to tackle his difficulties with cannabis and cocaine use, Mr Monahan said. He had been drug free for 18 months.

He was remanded in custody to a date next week.

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