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Grieving dad is caught drunk in stolen car

A DRIVER of a stolen vehicle who punctured all four tyres on speed ramps as he was being chased by gardai had been at the funeral of a friend who committed suicide, a court heard.

Gerard Burnett (26) said he bought the car very cheaply, and should have known the price was suspiciously low.

A judge banned him from driving for eight years and sentenced him to eight months in prison, suspended for two years.

Burnett, of Dromheath Avenue in Mulhuddart, admitted drunken driving and using a stolen motor vehicle near his home on May 21 last.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court that gardai were conducting a checkpoint on the N3 when a red Nissan Primera failed to stop.

Gardai checked the registration, and discovered the car had been taken in a burglary in May.

The car was later spotted by gardai on Dromheath Avenue. It had no lights on, and two of its tyres were punctured.

Sgt Callaghan said the vehicle travelled over two more speed bumps, and punctured the other two tyres.

Father-of-one Burnett jumped out of the vehicle and was caught by gardai. He was taken to Finglas Garda Station to be breathalysed, and was found to be over the limit.

Defence solicitor Margaret McEvilly said the defendant was at a friend's funeral who had committed suicide, and he had also got bad news about his mother's health.

Judge William Early ordered Burnett to pay €1,000 compensation for the four tyres.