Wednesday 22 November 2017

Teen involved in high speed garda chase is jailed

Declan Brennan

A TEENAGER who drove a stolen car at gardai during a high speed chase has being jailed for four years after being told the court has run out of patience with him.

Liam O’Neill (18) of Longdale Terrace, Ballymun pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of a car at Fairlawn Road., Finglas and to dangerous driving at St Helena’s Road, Finglas on February 15, 2011.


Judge Patrick McCartan also banned him from driving for ten years.


Garda Stephen Walsh told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that gardai began a pursuit of O’Neill when they saw him driving the stolen car at speed.


The car cut out after O’Neill did a handbrake turn and gardai moved to block him in. O’Neill started the car again and tried to ram the patrol car and gardai had to pull out of the way.


He drove off and tried to hide the car in a housing estate but then drove off again, driving straight at a garda car again.


He drove through a junction at speed without stopping and overtook a taxi on a dangerous bend. At one stage the car left the ground after driving over a speed bump.


He drove up the Dunsink Road and onto the Wellmount Road, driving on the wrong side of the road, hitting a kerb and forcing traffic to avoid him.


Gda Walsh said O’Neill drove towards the Santry road, breaking a red light and crossing over four lanes of traffic.


He then drove across a large green and rammed a barrier. When his car became stuck, gardai got out but had to jump out of the way when O’Neill drove the car at them.


The car chase ended when he hit a bollard and fled on foot. He was caught outside his family home shortly afterwards.


Garda Walsh told the court that O’Neill has a problem with drugs and alcohol.


Garda Alan Carbery gave details of O’Neill’s 47 previous convictions which include six for burglary, one for robbery, two for dangerous driving and two for car theft. He was aged 16 when he carried out these latest offences.


Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, said his client is doing well in custody and is involved in education programmes such as woodwork, cookery and in the manufacturing of soft toys.


Judge McCartan noted that Judge Martin Nolan had previously given O’Neill a chance by suspending a large part of a sentence for aggravated burglary.


He told O’Neill: “You got your chance, you didn’t take it. The patience and mercy of the court is spent”.

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