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YouTube joyrider jailed in gardai's easiest arrest

A joyrider who grabbed national headlines after posting his car antics on the internet has been jailed for dangerous driving.

Clearly not the smartest criminal in the country, Aaron Stanley (22) from Annbrook Heights, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was tracked down by gardai after he appeared on YouTube while on a dangerous driving spree around east Clare in a Limerick 1993-registered Toyota Starlet last year.

The joyriding episode which was filmed on July 14, 2010, was brought to the attention of the gardai two days later. Two days before the incident took place, eight young men were killed in a two-car collision in the Inishowen peninsula, Co Donegal.

All participants in the joyriding, including Stanley, are identifiable and no effort was made to hide the registration plates of two of the three vehicles involved.

Stanley appeared at Killaloe District Court -- sitting in Ennis -- on Tuesday after he was charged with dangerous driving in Ogonnelloe, Co Clare, on the day the recording was made.

Nenagh-based solicitor Tony O'Malley said as a consequence of the incident and the publicity it received last year, the defendant received a number of death threats and he had to go into hiding for a period of time.

Mr O'Malley said this was an indication of the public reaction to the YouTube video. The solicitor said the public mood at the time was very strong following the fatalities in Donegal.

Some of the incidents recorded in the video occurred while the three vehicles approached a school crossing and on a bend in the road.

At one stage, the front seat passenger and Stanley stick their feet out of the front windows as they travelled behind another car while oncoming traffic drives by them.

The video has been viewed more than 12,000 times and has attracted up to 100 comments -- many irate.

The three vehicles are featured driving along the Killaloe- Ogonnelloe road in east Clare and also at Two Mile Gate alongside Lough Derg. The windscreen on one vehicle is cracked and it is understood that all those who appear in the video are from the Nenagh area.

Stanley has a string of previous convictions and received a three-month sentence last month for theft and unauthorised taking of a vehicle at a court sitting in Nenagh. Last May, he received a six-month sentence for similar offences committed last year.

Judge Aeneas McCarthy sentenced him to four months imprisonment and disqualified him for driving for the next decade. The sentence will not begin until early next year when his current jail term concludes.

It is understood Stanley is the only man to appear before the courts following the incident.