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Man who led gardai on high speed chase through Dublin city jailed


Leonard Dumbrell

Leonard Dumbrell

Leonard Dumbrell

A criminal with 108 previous convictions who led gardaí 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 gardaí.

Dumbrell has 108 previous convictions including car thefts, assaulting a garda and violent disorder. The court heard he comes from a family who are well-known to gardaí.

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.

Detective Garda David Wogan told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, at the sentence hearing last July (2014) 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.

Gardaí spotted Dumbrell driving it shortly afterwards. The gardaí in the patrol car put on its lights and sirens and chased the Clio though heavy traffic.

The chase went down Pearse Street before Dumbrell swerved across two lanes of traffic on O’Connell Bridge, nearly hitting several pedestrians on the central meridian.

The car then went up a lane near Temple Bar. A garda car blocked the end of the lane to stop Dumbrell driving into the busy pedestrian area and this caused him to skid and crash into a wall at the corner of Temple Bar Square.

He then got out of the car and fled but was caught after a short foot-chase.

Defence counsel John Berry BL had asked the court to put in a place a “structured sentence” with rehabilitation at the core of it to give his client some hope.

He said his client, who has a young child and a pregnant partner, was eager to continue working on his rehabilitation.