Man behind Ranelagh Rampage jailed for five years

The wake of destruction on Ranelagh Road
The wake of destruction on Ranelagh Road

Ranelagh Rampager Shane Connell was been jailed for a total of five years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

Connell (27) rammed a Garda car in a stolen ESB van and left a trail of destruction while being chased through Dublin last year.

Connell of Beechpark Court, Coolock, pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of a vehicle at George’s Street, and criminal damage on Ranelagh Road on February 19, 2014.

Garda Nathan Burke told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Connell drove through red lights in the stolen van at Cuffe Street and into four lanes of oncoming traffic in an attempt to get away from pursuing gardai.

The court previously heard that the van was observed driving erratically before taking a sharp turn towards Kevin St.

Gardai pursued it as it sped on the wrong side of the road and broke a red light.

All four wheels were off the road as the van passed over speed ramps, Gda Burke informed the judge, adding that oncoming traffic had to take evasive action.

The court heard that the van was driven against the flow of traffic on Charlemont Street where it allegedly mounted a footpath to bypass cars.

It was also alleged that the vehicle swerved into a patrol van, drove over the canal bridge on the wrong side and broke another light in Ranelagh Village where a court heard there was “a high volume of traffic and pedestrians.”

Two parked cars were damaged and three moving vehicles were also rammed from behind, and the van came to a stop when it lost a wheel, a court heard.

He them rammed a garda van four times before driving at high speed into Ranelagh Village, where he collided with several cars. He only came to a stop when one of the van’s wheels fell off.

When interviewed by gardai the next day, Connell said he had drunk two bottles of vodka and could not remember the incident.

Judge Pat McCartan imposed a four year sentence, saying it was “horrendous behaviour” that “simply cannot be explained away by alcohol”. He suspended the final eighteen months.

He also activated a previously imposed suspended sentence of two and a half years for burglary and assault causing harm, giving an effective sentence of five years.