Three men who died in N7 crash had previous convictions

BMW they were driving the wrong way down the N7 burst into flames after hitting a truck

Carl Freeman (26)  was, in 2017, described as a ‘menace to society’ while being jailed for his role in an aggravated burglary. Photograph: Facebook

Carl Freeman (26) was, in 2017, described as a ‘menace to society’ while being jailed for his role in an aggravated burglary. Photograph: Facebook

 

The three men killed this week when a BMW crashed into an oncoming truck while being driven the wrong way down the N7 in Co Dublin had a litany of previous convictions.

Garda sources believe the three to be Carl Freeman (26), Graham Taylor (31) and Dean Maguire (29), all originally from Tallaght.

Some of their past crimes involved high-speed chases during which cars were driven into oncoming traffic to try to evade gardaí.

Their bodies were inside the BMW 3 Series when it burst into flames after hitting the truck in Rathcoole at 11.40pm on Wednesday. Some of their relatives have been asked for DNA samples to aid the identification process.

Carl Freeman

Freeman (26) was, in 2017, described as a “menace to society” while being jailed for his role in an aggravated burglary of a 77-year-old woman at her home in Co Wicklow. She was threatened and robbed of items such as her wedding ring by masked men who broke in at 2am. The woman was so terrified by the episode that she never returned to her home.

Freeman, then with an address at Rossfield Park, Tallaght, was driving the getaway car and he and his accomplices were arrested after being chased at high speed by gardaí. He was sentenced to seven years with two suspended for the burglary. At the time, he had 62 previous convictions including for assault, burglary, dangerous driving and endangerment. His lawyer told the court that Freeman had ADHD, addiction issues and a difficult upbringing.

Graham Taylor (31) was jailed in 2019 after leading gardaí on a chase during which he drove at 120km/h in a 50km/h zone. Photograph: Facebook
Graham Taylor (31) was jailed in 2019 after leading gardaí on a chase during which he drove at 120km/h in a 50km/h zone. Photograph: Facebook

Graham Taylor

Taylor was sentenced to 2½ years after leading gardaí on a chase during which he drove at 120km/h in a 50km/h zone. He drove on the wrong side of the road, in the wrong direction around roundabouts and into oncoming traffic during the June 2016 incident, forcing other motorists into evasive action.

In April 2019, then aged 29 and with an address at Kiltalown Park, Tallaght, Taylor was convicted of three counts of endangerment and three counts of dangerous driving over the pursuit, which began on Cheeverstown Road in Dublin 24, the road where Wednesday’s night chase started.

Taylor, who was released from prison in April, was disqualified from driving for 40 years in 2012. He had amassed 121 previous convictions by 2019, including 11 for dangerous driving and others for burglary, handling stolen property, criminal damage and assaulting a garda.

When being sentenced in April 2019, Taylor’s lawyer told the court his client had been in and out of prison since his teenage years and became addicted to drugs at 17 during his first jail term. The court was told he had three children and wanted to turn his life around through an electrician’s apprenticeship.

Dean Maguire (29) and three co-accused were described in court two years ago as being part of ‘a highly sophisticated, organised crime gang’. Photograph: Facebook
Dean Maguire (29) and three co-accused were described in court two years ago as being part of ‘a highly sophisticated, organised crime gang’. Photograph: Facebook

Dean Maguire

Two years ago, Maguire, who then had an address at Tree Park Drive, Tallaght, and three co-accused were described in court as being part of “a highly sophisticated, organised crime gang”. They came to Garda attention in Co Mayo after €30,000 was stolen from a property. A car linked to Maguire was found to contain a list of addresses in Co Mayo, which gardaí suspected had been identified as burglary targets.

In January 2014, he was arrested while driving a stolen Saab car that gardaí were seeking in connection with robberies in Straffan, Mullingar and Celbridge. On that occasion, Maguire led gardaí on a high-speed chase before abandoning his car in Naas and running across the M7 motorway while being tracked by the Garda helicopter.

In 2010, he was jailed for six months after leading gardaí on another high-speed chase. During that incident, he drove on the wrong side of the road with the headlights off, forcing other motorists to take evasive action. He also reversed into a Garda car three times and was eventually arrested after losing control of his car due to a puncture.

His lawyer told the court that Maguire had drink and drug problems and did not remember anything of the incident.