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Dangerous driving Man who led police on 100mph chase in stolen Mercedes is jailed

John Connors (24) was handed a two year driving ban by District Judge Nigel Broderick who said given the “dangerous nature of the driving only a custodial sentence can be merited.”

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A so-called joyrider who led police on a 100 mph pursuit in a stolen Mercedes was jailed for three months today. 

In addition to the jail sentence, 24-year-old John Connors was handed a two year driving ban by District Judge Nigel Broderick who said given the “dangerous nature of the driving only a custodial sentence can be merited.”

Connors, who appeared at Antrim Magistrates Court by video link from custody but who has an address on the Old Suffolk Road in Belfast, had entered guilty pleas to a total of 13 offences, all committed on 25 February 2016.

Among the offences, Connors admitted handling the stolen Mercedes, dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle theft causing damage, failing to stop and remain, theft, no insurance, no driving licence, fraudulent use of registration plates, going equipped for theft and possessing class B cannabis.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court that when a police patrol tried to stop a Mercedes car on the M2 motorway, it accelerated away and refused to stop.

With the pursuit reaching speeds over 100 mph over several miles along the motorway, the lawyer described how the Mercedes “swerved” at the pursuit police vehicle, forcing them to take “evasive action.”

A Volkswagen Golf which had pulled over on to the hard shoulder to avoid the pursuit was “rear ended” by the speeding Mercedes which reversed and sped away again with “severe damage” caused to both cars.

The pursuit came to an eventual end when the engine of the Mercedes, which had been stolen in a burglary at a property in Malahide in Dublin two weeks earlier, gave up because of the amount of damage the car had sustained.

Both the Mercedes and the Golf were later written off but Connors, who had been driving the stolen car, was arrested at the scene.

Officers noted that he was wearing gardening gloves, there were false registration plates in the drivers footwell and Connors had a small amount of cannabis on his person when he was arrested.

During interviews Connors refused to answer police questions and when freed on bail, he fled across the border.

Defence counsel Seamus Lannon agreed the fault for entire four year delay in being the case to a conclusion “lies at the door” of the defendant and that his behaviour that day was “the height of irresponsibility.”

In addition to the jail sentence and driving ban, DJ Broderick ordered Connors to pay a £25 offenders levy.


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