Thursday 22 August 2019

'Menace to society' with 105 convictions jailed following high-speed car chase

Reversed at speed in a stolen car at a garda patrol vehicle during a high-speed chase

Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Fiona Ferguson

A Limerick man described as a “menace to society” has been jailed for two and a half years after reversing at speed in a stolen car at a garda patrol vehicle during a high speed chase.

Sean Kerins (26) has 105 previous convictions, including 80 for road traffic offences, and was disqualified from driving at the time. He was visiting friends in Dublin at the time of this offence.

Kerins, of Moylish Road, Ballynanty Beg, Limerick, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawful use of a vehicle, criminal damage to an unmarked patrol car and two counts of dangerous driving in Clondalkin on October 9, 2016.

The court heard gardai began pursuing the stolen Honda Civic driven by Kerins after spotting one of the front headlights was not working. He failed to stop and took off along the Nangar Road at speeds in excess of 160 kilometres per hour.

Kerins drove through red lights at two junctions before turning into a cul de sac.

He was followed by two patrol cars and on reaching the end of the road, revved his engine and reversed at speed at one of the cars. His vehicle went up on the bonnet of the patrol car before stopping.

Defence counsel, Carol Doherty BL, said Kerins had little in the way of parental support or encouragement while growing up. She said he began using drugs at 14 years old and used cars as a way to escape reality.

She said that in a “parallel universe” Kerins might have had his interests nurtured and been encouraged to become a mechanic.

Ms Doherty said Kerins understood that if he did not change his ways he would be continuing the cycle of offending and prison. She described her client as “heavily institutionalised.”

She submitted that he had immediately admitted his role and was genuinely apologetic.

Judge Martin Nolan noted Kerins had a difficult background and that he had little opportunity in life to progress himself.

He said, however, that Kerins was a “menace to society” who had endangered the public.

Judge Nolan imposed a three and a half year sentence and suspended the final year on strict conditions.

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