Ross Crea (19) drove straight at gardaí who were trying to stop him from driving away in a car he had stolen outside a house in south Dublin.
Garda Mark Fall had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit and Garda Sergeant Wesley Kenny took up a spot between two cars. Crea then drove into the back of one of these cars, trapping Sgt Kenny between the cars.
Judge Martin Nolan said it was lucky for everyone that gardai were not injured.
Garda Brendan Carmody told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that at around 5am on September 29 last year (2020) a homeowner at Kilmacud Rd Lwr, Dundrum, Dublin, was disturbed by a break-in to the house and found their car keys and car gone.
Gardai arrived at the housing estate to find Crea about to leave and parked patrol cars to try to block him. Crea rammed his way through and then drove out to the M50, where he drove with no lights and weaving in between traffic.
Crea also cut sharply across traffic to exit the motorway and then mounted a kerb at a petrol station. He continued driving into the city, breaking red lights and doing a u-turn.
At one point he crashed the car into a number of cars which were stopped at lights. The court heard the occupants of those cars were shocked, but not injured.
Crea drove up the wrong side of the Liffey quays forcing other road users and pedestrians to take evasive action. He broke a red light at a junction near Harolds Cross and shortly afterwards lost control of the car and crashed into a barrier.
Gda Carmody said that Crea was not under the influence and wasn't difficult to deal with at the scene. He said the whole situation from start to finish lasted around 45 minutes.
He told the court Crea's previous convictions include robbery, assault, drug dealing and criminal damage. He was sentenced in March 2020 for an assault.
Crea pleaded guilty to three counts of reckless endangerment, three of dangerous driving and one of unlawful taking of a car.
Judge Nolan sentenced Crea to five years for endangering the gardai. He suspended the final 18 months on condition Crea keep the peace for five years, and engage with the Probation Services for one year after his release from prison.
He banned Crea from driving for four years and said he was taking the other offences into consideration.
Judge Nolan noted Crea has had a history of difficulties in his life and said his age was a mitigating factor. “He is still very young and capable of reform,” he said, noting also that he had co-operated with gardai after his arrest.