Monday 23 September 2019

Youth who reached speeds of 200km/h in stolen Audi 'called gardaí begging them to call off pursuit'

Gardai carried out the operation in Longford this morning
Gardai carried out the operation in Longford this morning

Tom Tuite

A YOUTH, who stole an Audi A4 and reached speeds of 200km/h during a chaotic drive to Dublin, phoned gardai begging them to call off the pursuit, a court has heard.

The then 17-year-old boy who stole the high-powered car in a burglary in Boyle, Co. Roscommon also drove on the wrong side of the M4 motorway at one point, and gardai deployed two stinger devices to stop him after a 150km chase back to Dublin.

The youth, 18-year-old is now an adult. Ryan Cahill from Harelawn Grove, Clondalkin, Dublin will be sentenced in December. He already has 59 prior criminal convictions mostly for motoring offences and was already serving a custodial sentence.

Judge John O’Connor praised the “sterling work” of gardai in stopping Cahill who asked the court, via his lawyer, not to give him another sentence.

He had been arrested following a chase which began in Boyle, Co. Roscommon and came to a halt in Lucan, in Dublin on March 14 last.

The youth pleaded guilty to burglary, motor theft, dangerous driving at Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath, Clonard and Enfield in Co. Meath, and at Moyvalley in Co. Kildare. He also admitted causing criminal damage to a garda car in Lucan in Dublin, in connection with the same incident.

In evidence, Garda Eoin Brehony told the Dublin Children’s Court that a ‘10-reg Audi A4 was stolen during the course of a house burglary in Boyle. The car was driven towards Dublin on the N4 and M4.

Garda Brehony had taken up position at about 1.10 am at Kinegad, in Co. Westmeath.

Gardai in Mullingar intercepted it and Garda Brehony attempted to stop it with a stinger device at Kinnegad. However, the teenager performed a U-turn on the motorway and then drove in the wrong direction back along the M4 and dangerously exited at The Downs near Mullingar.

Garda Brehony said at this point “the vehicle went to ground for a couple of hours”. At 5.20am he observed the Audi passing Kinnegad, this time along the old N4 road towards Clonard where there is a 80km/ph speed limit. Garda Brehony signalled him to stop but he kept driving and at times reached speeds of 200km/h.

When he reached Enfield the youth went back onto the M4 motorway. Meanwhile there was another attempt to stop him with a stinger device at Kilcock. Earlier the court also heard that he smashed through a toll barrier.

“An unusual thing happened at that stage, the defendant rang gardai himself and asked us to stop chasing him,” Garda Brehony said.

At that point the youth was pulled over and arrested at Lucan in Co. Dublin. Garda Brehony agreed with defence counsel Ann Sheridan that the youth was co-operative following his arrest.

He accepted that it was correct that when it was put to him why he did these things, the youth replied “I don’t know”. The barrister said the teen can give no reason for his actions.

The court heard he is already serving a sentence and due to be released in April next year. Ms Sheridan told Judge O’Connor that she was instructed to ask him to proceed with sentencing and he was asking, via his barrister, for his time in custody not to be extended.

She said the teenager had a supportive family but he fell through the cracks after he left school early and there had been a pattern of offending for two years however he did not have drug or alcohol problems.

Judge O’Connor said the accused had “a horrendous amount of prior criminal convictions for a 18-year-old”.

He said he was no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the Children’s Court but he would take into account that the incidents happened when he was a juvenile but the idea that he would not get a custodial sentence was wrong.

He said the teen was a bully and did not show remorse and could face a sentence of up to 18-months.

The teenager also pleaded guilty to another dangerous driving during which he mounted a footpath in Clondalkin on Feb. 23 last.

He was spotted after gardai heard the sound of screeching tyres and that pursuit ended when he crashed into wall.

He also admitted charges driving without a licence or insurance on the same date as well as on two other occasions.

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