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fast & Furious Speeding driver who led gardaí on '40-minute' car chase said it was 'stupidity'


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A DRIVER who led gardaí on a high speed chase across west Dublin narrowly avoiding the front of a patrol car has described it as "just 40 minutes of stupidity".

Lee O'Neill (20) was weaving in and out of traffic, and then drove over a green area where people were walking.

A friend was in the passenger seat and "bravado took over", his lawyer said.

Judge Gerard Jones said O'Neill's driving was a "dreadful carry on". He disqualified O'Neill from driving for two years and imposed a three-month sentence which he suspended for two years.

The defendant, with an address at Kilshane Road in Finglas, admitted dangerous driving in the Finglas area on August 1, 2019.

Garda Megan Furey told Blanchardstown District Court she was on patrol when she received a report of a vehicle driving dangerously on the M50.

Gda Furey said the car failed to stop for gardaí and narrowly avoided the front of the patrol car.

O'Neill broke a red traffic light at Tolka Valley Road in Finglas, and was weaving in and out of cars and driving at excess speeds on the Ratoath Road, Ratoath Drive and Old Finglas Road.

At Kildonan Road, the car drove over a green area, where a number of people were out walking. Gda Furey said O'Neill was later arrested and taken to Blanchardstown garda station where he was charged.

The court heard O'Neill had no previous convictions.

Defence lawyer Ciaran MacLoughlin said this incident took place nearly two years ago and O'Neill had grown up a lot since then.

Mr MacLoughlin said O'Neill was an apprentice sheet metal worker.

He was a hard worker, and was working very long hours. He also had a girlfriend and a seven-month old baby.

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Mr MacLoughlin said this incident was "a moment of madness". O'Neill was in the car with a friend and "bravado took over".

The lawyer said O'Neill wished to apologise for his behaviour, which was "40 minutes of stupidity". However, the defendant had turned his life around since this incident and was a family man now.

Imposing a suspended sentence, Judge Jones described O'Neill's driving as horrific, saying he was lucky no one was killed.

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