Promising MMA fighter driving stolen car when he failed to stop for gardai on M50
A promising young mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter caught driving without insurance has claimed he has cleaned up his life in the last year.
Darah Hart (22) was driving a stolen car when he failed to stop for gardai on the M50.
Hart and his family were threatened after he built up a drug debt, but a court heard the debt has been paid and he is "doing very well".
Judge David McHugh banned Hart from driving for two years and imposed a four-month sentence suspended for two years.
The defendant, of Birchdale Road, Kinsealy Court in Swords, had admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to driving without insurance or a driving licence at the M50 on June 9.
He also admitted to using a vehicle without the consent of its owner and with failing to stop the vehicle at the same time and place.
Defence barrister Jennifer Jackson asked the judge not to send Hart to jail, saying his mother had her own problems and Hart, who was her eldest, helped to raise his brother and sister.
She said the defendant started taking ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine when he was just 14, and this developed into a daily drug habit. The court heard Hart had repaid his drug debt after threats to his family.
Ms Jackson said Hart's girlfriend is pregnant and he is now working.
She also said he is a talented mixed martial arts fighter and he hopes to turn professional.