Thief endangered lives of many when he drove recklessly through Dublin traffic

Father of one was being chased by gardaí after stealing jewellery worth almost €2,000

Judge Mary-Ellen Ring said Cash had endangered all forms of traffic, and had driven without regard to the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians

Judge Mary-Ellen Ring said Cash had endangered all forms of traffic, and had driven without regard to the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians

 

A man who endangered the lives of a large number of people when he drove recklessly through rush-hour traffic in Dublin has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison, with the final 12 months suspended.

Martin Cash (20) cut across a six-lane junction, drove in bus lanes and mounted footpaths, causing cars and buses to swerve to avoid him. He also drove dangerously at a green area, endangering children who were playing there.

The father of one was being chased by gardaí­ at the time after he had stolen jewellery worth almost €2,000 from a house.

Cash, of Hazel Hill, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft on Howth Road, Raheny, Dublin, on May 9th, 2014.

He admitted to endangerment on Collins Avenue/Beaumont and to two counts of dangerous driving at junctions on Collins Avenue on the same day.

He also pleaded guilty to trespassing at a house on Furry Park Road, Killester, on the same day.

Judge Mary-Ellen Ring said Cash had endangered all forms of traffic and driven without regard to the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

The judge noted Cash’s drug-free status and that he wanted to get out of prison for the benefit of his young son.

She sentenced him to 3½ years in prison but suspended the final 12 months on condition that Cash keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 12 months on his release.

Garda Aoife O’Brien told Gráinne O’Neill, prosecuting, that the owners of a house on Howth Road were in their back garden when their home was burgled and jewellery worth €1,830 was stolen. The jewellery was never returned.

Residents in Killester later noticed their window had been jimmied, and gardaí­ were alerted after a neighbour spotted Cash leaving the premises.

Gardaí­ noticed a car driving dangerously in the area and a chase ensued. Cash cut across junctions at speed, including a six-lane intersection, overtook other cars, and endangered children playing in a green area. He was arrested after coming to a halt in a cul-de-sac.

Cash has 37 previous convictions including assault causing harm, criminal damage, misuse of drugs and possession of stolen goods.

Pieter Le Vert, defending, said his client had a fraught and troubled childhood and had lost his father to suicide at the age of five. Cash’s mother had her own difficulties, and had been in and out of custody during his childhood.

Mr Le Vert said Cash had alcohol and drugs problem but had become drug-free while in custody, as confirmed by urine analysis.