A man who threw gardening equipment out a car window during a high-speed pursuit on a motorway has been jailed for three and a half years.
Jordan Carroll (21) threw equipment such as a leaf blower and hedge clippers out the window during a chase which came to an end when the stolen car he was in crashed into two garda patrol cars.
Carroll, of Lindisfarne Vale, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to endangering traffic, criminal damage and allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle at various locations in Co Wicklow and Co Dublin on June 16 and 17, 2020.
He has 34 previous convictions, including convictions for assault causing harm, assault, criminal damage, dangerous driving, trespass and theft.
His co-accused Joseph Bonass (18) of Lindisfarne Park, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle, criminal damage, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and without a licence at various locations in Co Wicklow and Co Dublin on the same dates. He has no previous convictions.
Garda Colm Ryan told James Kelly BL, prosecuting, that shortly before midnight on June 16, a Toyota Land Cruiser was stolen from in front of a house just outside Arklow, Co Wicklow.
Gda Ryan said the keys had been left in the ignition by the owner of the car. The owner has a landscaping business and his tools were contained within the car which he used for work.
Gardaí pursued the car which was being driven by Bonass and observed it driving at speed in a dangerous manner on the N11 northbound. The car was also observed driving in the middle of the dual carriageway.
The pursuit continued onto the M11 while Carroll began throwing gardening equipment out of the front passenger window. This equipment included a leaf blower, hedge clippers and drills.
The incident came to an end when the stolen car mounted a grass verge while attempting to take an exit on the N7. The car then drove the wrong way back towards the pursuing gardaí and crashed into two garda patrol cars.
Both garda patrol cars sustained damage, as did another garda car which ran over a leaf blower, while the stolen car was written off. All of the victim's tools were also destroyed.
Gda Ryan agreed with John Griffin BL, defending Carroll, that his client was under the influence of an intoxicant when arrested and later told gardai he had taken “loads” of tablets. He agreed that no gardaí were injured during the offending.
The garda agreed with Donal Pattison BL, defending Bonass, that his client was also intoxicated upon his arrest.
Mr Griffin said his client has issues with drug misuse which is very clearly “the root cause” of this offending. He said his client's parents died when he was a teenager and he was effectively raised by his older sister.
Counsel said his client had asked him to apologise to the gardaí and to the owner of the stolen car. He said his client has one child with his long-term partner.
Mr Pattison said his client left school without completing the Junior Cert and had been involved with Youthreach prior to the pandemic. He said his client has potential and has family support.
Judge Elma Sheahan said “this escapade” of Carroll and his co-accused was behaviour “that places the lives of our first responders at risk”.
Judge Sheahan said this offending represented “a serious escalation” from Carroll's prior offending. She said his level of culpability was high.
She sentenced Carroll to four and a half years imprisonment, but suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions.
Judge Sheahan ordered a report from the Probation Service regarding Bonass and adjourned his case for finalisation to October 11, next.