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Dad jailed after high speed chase with child in car

A FATHER-of-one who drove at speed through an estate, narrowly missing young children who were out playing on the streets, has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Graham Dutton (25) also endangered the lives of his girlfriend and seven-year-old daughter, who were in the car at the time. He denied driving at high speed, saying he wouldn't try to outrun the gardai in a car chase, particularly as his daughter was in the back seat.

The 25-year-old is well known to gardai, as is his father, Ian, who was once described before the Dublin Circuit Court as "actively engaged in crime".

Ian Dutton is currently serving eight years after gardai found him with a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol as they carried out a drugs search at his home.

Graham Dutton is currently appealing a 10-year sentence for possession of heroin and cocaine. He pleaded not guilty before Blanchardstown District Court to two counts of dangerous driving as well as failing to stop for gardai.

Garda David Howard said he was on mobile patrol with Garda Marcella Shanahan in the Greenfort estate around 6.30pm on May 30 last year when he saw a white Subaru Impreza drive towards them.

Garda Howard said he recognised the driver as Dutton, and told Garda Shanahan to turn the car and follow him as he knew there was a bench warrant out for his arrest.

The garda activated the patrol car's blue lights and sirens and indicated to Dutton to stop. He failed to stop and drove at high speed down Greenfort Crescent, narrowly missing children who were playing on the street.

Garda Howard said Dutton drove down Greenfort Lawns, again at high speed, and stopped outside his house. He got out of the car and ran inside.

The garda said he walked to the front door where he was confronted by Dutton's parents, Ian and Siobhan Dutton, who verbally abused him and told him to get out of the garden.

In his evidence, Dutton said he was aware of the garda car but gardai didn't indicate for him to stop. He denied he was speeding. His girlfriend Donna O'Flanagan said there was nothing remarkable about Dutton's driving.

The court heard there are CCTV cameras at Dutton's home, and his mother showed footage to the court of Dutton arriving at the house. She said the CCTV proved he wasn't speeding, and he walked, not ran, into the house.

Judge David McHugh sentenced Dutton six months in prison. He also banned him from driving for four years.