Dangerous driver who was pursued by 10 garda cars gets five months

By Brendan Grehan

A DANGEROUS driver who drove a stolen van along the N4 and the quays in Dublin while being pursued by 10 garda cars was jailed for five months by Blanchardstown District Court.

Judge David McHugh ordered that John Smith serve the five months at the end of his current four-and-half-year sentence.

Blanch Courthouse 4

Smith attempted to ram a garda car and broke a number of red lights during the pursuit.

Smith, aged 26, with an address at The Villas, Muirheavnamor, Dundalk, County Louth, pleaded guilty to driving a stolen car at Crookedwood, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, dangerous driving at the junction of the R148 and Infirmary Road, dangerous driving at Inns Quay, Dublin 7, and no driving licence and no insurance at the junction of the R112 and Islandbridge, all on June 18, 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at the junction of the R109 and Conyngham Road, dangerous driving at the junction of the R148 and Queen Street and dangerous driving at Inns Quay, Dublin 7, all on the above date.

Garda Emmet Lynch told the court that at 11.45pm on June 18, 2017, he received a report that a red Ford Transit was driving dangerously inbound on the N4, weaving in and out of traffic.

He said the Transit almost collided with another road user at Liffey Valley and then it drove through red lights at the junction at Palmerstown Village, failing to stop.

Garda Lynch said the Transit was pursued by 10-garda vehicles and drove onto St John’s Road and broke another red light and then attempted to ram a garda car.

The garda said that Smith then drove through a red light at Infirmary Road and onto the Quays before colliding with a taxi. Smith was then arrested.

Garda Lynch said Smith had 78 previous convictions, of which 18 were for theft, 15 for criminal damage, six for dangerous driving, four for driving stolen cars and one for no insurance.

Smith’s counsel, Ciaran McLoughlin Bl, said his client had “never had a chance in his life” and had a difficult upbringing.

Judge McHugh noted that Smith had attempted to ram a garda car and had put other road users at risk.

He said it was “an appalling act of absolute thuggery”.

He sentenced Smith to five months jail with a four-year driving ban for one of the dangerous driving charges and fined him €500 with a four-year ban for having no insurance.

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