Monday 19 March 2018

Van rampage charge man banned from driving while out on bail

Stephen Kelly leaving Dublin District Court
Stephen Kelly leaving Dublin District Court

Andrew Phelan

A man who was accused of driving a stolen van on a rampage through south Dublin has been banned from sitting in the front seat of any vehicle while on bail.

The incident during which five vehicles, including a garda van, were rammed caused a "serious risk to life", it is alleged.

A court was told how a high-speed chase through south Dublin ended in a multiple vehicle pile-up in Ranelagh, which put three people in hospital.

Father-of-one Shane Connell (26) appeared in front of Dublin District Court accused of driving a stolen Eircom van.

Judge Bryan Smyth granted bail on strict condition, including a ban on sitting in the front seat of any vehicle.

Earlier, Stephen Kelly (19) of Windmill Park, Crumlin, was bailed on a charge of being a passenger in the stolen vehicle.

Two young women were also arrested and have been released from custody.

Mr Connell, with an address at Belcamp Grove, Priorswood, is charged with unlawful use of a stolen vehicle at George's Street South.

Garda Nathan Burke said he arrested the defendant at Ranelagh Road at 10.10pm on Wednesday night and brought him to Pearse Street station, where he made no reply to the charge after caution.

He objected to bail being granted, citing the "nature and seriousness" of the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment on conviction.

He said it was alleged that the accused stole the van at George's Street South at 9.50pm.

Gardai were called and officers followed as the van sped on the wrong side of the road and through a red light.

It was alleged the van came away from the path and swerved into a patrol van, which it rammed and that it drove over the canal bridge on the wrong side and through a red light into Ranelagh village, where there was "a high volume of traffic and pedestrians".

It is further alleged that two parked cars were damaged on Ranelagh Road and three moving vehicles were rammed from the rear. Three people were taken to hospital, one of them seriously injured.

"There was serious risk to life in the incident if evasive action was not taken by motorists and pedestrians," Garda Burke said.

Mr Connell was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on February 27.

Co-accused Mr Kelly, was remanded on bail to appear in Dublin District Court on April 3.

Irish Independent

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