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Banned quad biker in garda chase is jailed

A BANNED quad bike driver who brought traffic to a standstill when he led gardai on a chase through a housing estate has been jailed for four months.

Andrew Kearney (25) was also put off the road for 10 years after the incident in which he mounted a footpath on the quad before fleeing into a house.

He had eight previous dangerous driving convictions before the offence.

Kearney, of Finglas Wood Road, Finglas West, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Melville Way on February 12, 2011. He also admitted possession of a stolen motorbike at Cardiffsbridge Avenue, also in Finglas on July 3, 2012, as well as driving without insurance or a licence.

Blanchardstown District Court heard a garda saw a yellow Suzuki quad bike being driven at Ratoath Road, Finglas at 4.30pm on June 25 last.

There was no licence plate on the vehicle, which was being driven by the accused, and had a pillion passenger. The quad entered Dunsink tiphead and the gardai, who had no access, could not follow.

The following day, the prosecuting garda met Kearney and demanded to see his licence and proof of insurance, but he failed to produce either.

Two days earlier, on June 23, another garda on patrol at Cardiffsbridge Road, Finglas, saw Kearney driving the same quad with no helmet. When signalled to stop, he fled the estate and up Wellmount Avenue. Two lanes of traffic had to stop to make way for him and he mounted a footpath, driving through a pedestrianised area.

Kearney's solicitor Simon Fleming said that the accused's mother had died when he was a teenager and he "ran wild for a time".

"He's still running wild, Mr Fleming," the judge said. He imposed several consecutive sentences on Kearney and imposed a €500 fine and 10-year disqualification.