A man has been jailed for two years for his dangerous driving during a high speed garda chase which only ended when he crashed into a road sign.
John Greene (24) formerly of Bremore Pastures Green, Balbriggan, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of dangerous driving around the Old Naas Road on the night of June 5th, 2019.
He also admitted criminal damage of a road sign on the same occasion, resisting a police office and driving without insurance and with no licence.
The court heard that Greene drove at over 90km/h in a 50km/h zone in wet road conditions and repeatedly executed hand brake turns, causing his car to skid and drive across the line of traffic and Luas lines.
At one point Greene did a hand brake turn to spin 180 degrees and then drove head on at the patrol car which was in pursuit, forcing the driver to take evasive action.
Greene was already the subject of a four year driving ban imposed by a court in 2016 when he was convicted of drunk driving and driving while uninsured.
Detective Garda Jason O’Carroll told the court that when Greene collided into the road sign gardai went to the driver’s window and saw Greene was trying to start the car again.
He said he used his ASP baton to smash the window open and he took the keys out of the ignition. Greene then tried to escape from the other side of the car and it took a number of gardai to restrain him with one having to deploy “pepper spray” on Greene.
Dt Gda O’Carroll said Greene gave a false name and an address in the UK but later gave an address at Meadowlands, Tralee, Co Kerry. Gardai were finally able to obtain his real identity and an address in Bluebell, Dublin city and discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest.
His previous convictions include theft offences, road traffic offences and one offence of burglary.
The cost to repair the electronic road sign was just under €7,000.
Defending counsel told the court that he was still a young man who had a difficult upbringing and has struggled with depression and anxiety.
Judge Martin Nolan said that, while he took these into consideration, Greene deserved a custodial sentence, saying “he has been a nuisance”. He imposed a two year prison term and a driving ban of five years.