Man who led gardai on car chase jailed for three years

Leonard Dumbrell

Conor Gallagher and Fiona Ferguson

A criminal with 108 previous convictions who led gardai on a high-speed chase through Dublin city centre in a stolen car has been jailed for three years.

Leonard Dumbrell (26) stole the car in Ballsbridge and drove it at speed and the wrong way up streets before crashing it at Temple Bar Square.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that he almost knocked over pedestrians on O'Connell Bridge in an effort to get away from gardai.

The court heard he comes from a family who are well-known to gardai.

After evidence was heard in the case in July last year he had been allowed out on bail to attend residential drug treatment but failed to appear on a subsequent court date. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest and he was remanded in custody when it was executed last June.

Dumbrell, of The Park, Clonattin Village, Gorey, Co Wexford, but originally from Inchicore, Dublin, pleaded guilty to car theft in Dublin and two counts of dangerous driving in Dublin city centre on January 2, 2013.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said the court had facilitated Dumbrell but noted that he was finding it hard to stay on the path to rehabilitation.

She imposed concurrent sentences totalling three years and ordered that time spent in custody was to be taken into account. She disqualified Dumbrell from driving for five years.

When the case was heard last year, Detective Garda David Wogan told the court that Terrence Horan had left his Renault Clio running as he talked to someone on the street in Pembroke Park. When Mr Horan turned around he saw his car speeding down the street.

Gardai spotted Dumbrell driving it shortly afterwards and gave chase.

Defence counsel John Berry had said his client, who has a young child and a pregnant partner, was eager to continue working on his rehabilitation.