Youth who endangered lives of children escaping from Gardai gets jail

CourtsBy Sunday World
Three-and-a-half years in prison for man with 37 previous convictions
Three-and-a-half years in prison for man with 37 previous convictions

A youth who endangered the lives of a large number of people when he drove recklessly through rush-hour traffic in Dublin's Northside has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

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 private house.

Cash, of Hazel Hill, Tallaght, Dublin 24, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft on Howth Road, Raheny, Dublin 5 on May 9th, 2014.

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

He further 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.

She said Cash put a significant number of road users in danger and caused them to take evasive action.

Judge Ring 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 three and a half 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.

Cash was ordered to undergo supervision by the Probation Service and follow all direction as regards rehabilitation, education and training. He was disqualified from driving for five years.

Garda Aoife O'Brien told Gráinne O'Neill BL, 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.

Later, residents in Killester 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 and undertook 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 BL, defending, said his client had a fraught and troubled childhood and had lost his father to suicide at the age of five.

He said 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.

Cash wrote a letter to court in which he explained that he had been without his own father growing up and didn't want that for his 18-month-old son.

By Jessica Magee