Man in custody climbs over Garda station wall

By Jessica Magee

A MAN found with stolen cars later escaped from custody by climbing over a wall at a garda station, a court has heard.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that while being treated for a bitten ear at Tallaght Hospital, Michael Connors (25) slipped his handcuffs and fled from prison officers.

Tallaght Garda Station 2

The man escaped from Tallaght Garda station by climbing over a wall

Connors escaped from custody again a few months later when he climbed over a wall at Tallaght Garda Station and ran.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to escaping custody on November 10, 2017 and on April 20, 2018.

The father-of-two from Marlfield Crescent, Tallaght, further admitted unlawfully possessing two stolen cars at The Square, Tallaght on April 19 last and at Old Bawn Rd, Tallaght on 27 April last.

Four other charges of producing a hammer and possessing stolen property were taken into consideration after gardai found several stolen car keys at Connors’ home.

Gardai searching Connors’ home also found an RF radio signal jammer which is designed to block the signal from car keys.

Judge Melanie Greally suspended the last year of a five year sentence. She also disqualified Connors from driving for six years.

Garda Stephen Nealan told Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, that on April 19 last a woman reported an incident that had taken place after she parked her car at Level Two of the Square Shopping Centre car park.

The woman said she was sitting in the car with her young sister when a car pulled up alongside and she heard a loud bang.

She pulled down her window and told the driver he had just bashed into her car. He replied aggressively that he hadn’t done anything and threatened to punch them.

The woman filmed the man as he drove away and took pictures of his car reg, but he suddenly returned to the parking spot, jumped out of the car, took a shovel from the boot and started waving it around.

The woman said the man “looked crazy” and she panicked but eventually managed to start her car and drive away.

Gardai got a warrant for Connors’ home and forced entry.

They found four car keys, all belonging to stolen cars, one of which was parked outside. An RF radio signal jammer was also seized.

Garda Stephen Murray told the court that on November 10 2017 Connors was escorted from Wheatfield Prison to Tallaght Hospital after a fellow prisoner bit him on the ear.

After receiving treatment Connors slipped his handcuffs and broke free from prison officers.

He ran into an adjacent industrial state and disappeared into a crane yard, the court heart.

Garda David Lynch told the court that on April 20 last he was tasked to interview Connors at Tallaght Garda Station.

The court heard Connors requested a cigarette and was brought to the custody area, where he pressed a release door at the side of the station, ran out and climbed over the wall.

Gardai pursued him but lost sight of him after he jumped a garden wall.

A week later Connors was seen by gardai driving a car on the Old Bawn Rd with a number of passengers.

Connors failed to stop for gardai, instead driving at speed on the wrong side of the road and breaking several red lights. Connors then abandoned the car and fled the scene on foot with a female.

He had been disqualified from driving at the time.

Later that evening, Connors was spotted by gardai on the Firhouse Road and violently resisted arrest, lashing out at gardai until he was pepper sprayed.

Connors has 38 previous convictions, including 13 for burglary, and others for possession of knives, endangerment and escaping lawful custody.

Cathal McGreal BL, defending, said his client found it extremely difficult to be in custody.

He said Connors was a settled traveller who had lived at 20 different addresses as a child and came from a troubled family background.

The court heard Connors left school early and began taking drugs aged 14, moving on to heroin and then crack cocaine.

A psychiatric report said crack cocaine had “destroyed his life” and that he had self-harmed several times and had behavioural problems.

Mr McGreal said Connors had once undertaken residential treatment but abandoned it after his sister-in-law took her own life.

He apologised on behalf of Connors to the court and the various victims and said his client now wanted to turn his life around.

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