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identical twins Twin brother of N7 crash criminal Graham Taylor jailed for trying to 'run over' garda

Like his brother Graham, Mark Taylor is classified by gardai as being a senior member of one of the country’s most prolific burglary gangs

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Mark Taylor and Graham Taylor

Mark Taylor and Graham Taylor

Mark Taylor and Graham Taylor

The twin brother of a burglary gang criminal who was one of three men who died when the car they were travelling in collided head-on with a lorry as it drove the wrong way down the N7 near Rathcoole on the night of July 7 was jailed for five years this week.

Tallaght criminal Mark Taylor (31) whose brother Graham Taylor was killed in the crash last summer was sentenced at Dublin Circuit Court yesterday.

Like his brother Graham, Mark is classified by gardai as being a senior member of one of the country’s most prolific burglary gangs.

“It is fair to say that these identical twin brothers were partners in crime since they were juveniles and there is a belief that Mark would have died in that car crash during the summer if he had not been on remand in prison at the time,” a source explained.

“It was very common for Mark to travel with his brother across the country for the purpose of carrying out burglaries so it would have been likely that he would have died in that car as well if he was not locked up. These brothers were career criminals,” the source added.

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 The funeral of Graham Taylor (31)

The funeral of Graham Taylor (31)

The funeral of Graham Taylor (31)

While Mark has 142 previous convictions, his twin brother Graham had over 120 previous was and was released from his latest jail sentence in April after he served a two and a half years for three counts of endangerment and three counts of dangerous driving in Tallaght on June 19th, 2016.

Mark Taylor also had close links to the other two criminals who were killed in the crash - Karl Freeman (26) of Rossfield Park and Dean Maguire (29) of Tree Park Drive.

All had numerous previous convictions and served jail terms.

Mark was granted “compassionate” temporary release from prison for his beloved twin brother’s funeral and spoke movingly about him at the mass.

Evidence of Mark’s crimes which was heard in court were strikingly similar to some of the tragic criminal events that led to brother’s death in July except in the case that led to the three deaths in July, gardai did not pursue the car as it was deemed too dangerous to chase it as it drove on the wrong side of the road at huge speed.

Mark Taylor, of no fixed abode in the Tallaght area, pleaded guilty to three counts of dangerous driving, one count of endangerment, one count of criminal damage and one count of driving with no insurance in various locations in Dublin on December 9, 2019.

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The funeral cortege for Graham Taylor (31), accompanied by motorcycle outriders, makes its way to Bohernabreena cemetery

The funeral cortege for Graham Taylor (31), accompanied by motorcycle outriders, makes its way to Bohernabreena cemetery

The funeral cortege for Graham Taylor (31), accompanied by motorcycle outriders, makes its way to Bohernabreena cemetery

Sentencing Taylor at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Melanie Greally noted the “extreme nature of the risk to which road users were exposed” as a result of Taylor's actions that night.

She handed down an eight-year sentence and suspended the final three years on a number of conditions. She banned Taylor from driving for life.

A detective garda told a sentence hearing earlier this year that he was on duty shortly after 10pm on the night in question when he noticed a black Mercedes stopped on Rossfield Avenue in Tallaght. It had the lights on and engine running.

Taylor was sitting in the driver seat with a female passenger. The car had been reported stolen four days earlier in Northern Ireland, the court heard.

The garda car stopped behind the Mercedes and when one of the gardaí walked towards the car, it reversed at speed and “attempted to run him over,” the court heard. The garda had to jump out of the way of the car to avoid being run over.

The garda stuck his baton in the driver seat window, causing it to smash. Taylor then rammed the front of the garda car before speeding off.

A pursuit ensued, with Taylor speeding over ramps and going over the wrong side of a roundabout at the Old Naas Road.

He also drove the wrong way up a slip road and reached speeds at over 100km/h, the court heard.

Gardaí ended the pursuit as it was deemed too dangerous to continue, and the garda air support unit took over. Taylor drove towards the M50, where he collided with an unmarked garda car.

The total damage to both garda cars was €12,000, Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, told the court.

At one point, Taylor caused another vehicle to leave the road in order to avoid a collision, the court heard. The garda car pursuit resumed on the M50, with gardaí attempting to force the Mercedes against the concrete barriers to stop it.

Sparks were coming from the car and it eventually braked in the hard shoulder.

Taylor ran up the embankment and was caught nearby. He was unable to be interviewed as he was so aggressive, the court heard. He has been in custody since then.

Taylor has 142 previous convictions, including 24 for dangerous driving. He had no driver's licence and no insurance on the day in question.

Defence barrister, Justin McQuade BL, said Taylor came from a highly dysfunctional family. In a letter to the court, Taylor said he had been battling drug addiction for most of his life. “I need some help, guidance and structure to my life,” he wrote.

As part of the conditions of his suspended sentence, Judge Greally ordered Taylor to go straight into a drug rehabilitation programme upon his release and to complete this programme. She backdated the sentence to when Taylor first went into custody on these offences.

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