shocking record | 

Man who led gardaí on chase so bad they abandoned it says he was threatened with Taser

James Maughan says his younger nephew threatened to use weapon on him unless he kept driving
Taser (Aaron Chown/PA)

Taser (Aaron Chown/PA)

By Declan Brennan

A man whose driving resulted in a high speed chase so dangerous that gardaí abandoned it has told a court his nephew was in the car threatening him with a Taser.

Lawyers for Dubliner James Maughan (36) told Judge Pauline Codd that the 20-year-old nephew was in the back of the car and was forcing the defendant to keep driving. Anne Fitzgibbon BL, defending, said her client was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and was easily led.

Judge Codd noted that some of Maughan's dangerous driving and endangerment charges go back a decade. In 2018 he received a 20 year driving ban from a court in Cavan for driving with no insurance and in 2011 he received a 10 year ban for endangerment.

Today at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Garda Gary Farrell told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that Maughan was driving a car which drove straight at a garda who had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

The incident took place in the car park of Blanchardstown shopping centre in west Dublin during the day on February 27, 2020.

Gda Farrell said there was a passenger in the car and Maughan later testified that this was his younger nephew. He told Judge Codd his nephew had a Taser and pointed it at him and told him “if I don't drive the car he'd shock me”.

Gda Farrell said that Maughan drove off a high speed into a roundabout, forcing other traffic to break hard to avoid collisions. Maughan continued on driving at speed on the wrong side of a road and into oncoming traffic, driving through red stop lights on an extremely busy junction.

He drove towards Mulhuddart, driving at speed up the main street there before gardaí decided to stop the pursuit because it had become too dangerous and posed a serious risk to the public, Gda Farrell said.

He said gardaí knew at the time that Maughan was uninsured and had no licence and later met him in custody in relation to the high speed chase.

Maughan of Stockhole Lane, Cloghran, Dublin subsequently pleaded guilty to endangerment, dangerous driving and driving without insurance at locations around Blanchardstown and Mulhuddart on February 27, 2020.

The court heard his 174 previous convictions include 10 for dangerous driving, 23 for driving with no insurance and 21 for driving without a licence and four for car theft. He has 57 other convictions for other road traffic act offending.

Ms Fitzgibbon said that her client's nephew was the ringleader in this case and in many other of the road traffic offending. She said the 20 year old is a repeat offender who has convictions going back to when he was still a juvenile.

Judge Codd said that Maughan's record of offending is horrendous. She adjourned the case to February 14 next to allow time for an assessment by the Probation Service.

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