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high-speed chase Courier who led cops on 180km/h chase 'feared life was under threat'


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Robert Byrne

Robert Byrne

Robert Byrne

A COURIER who led gardaí on a high-speed chase because he wrongly thought his life was under threat believes working with the probation service has been "hugely beneficial".

Robert Byrne (27) was banned from driving at the time and suffering from paranoia after the break-up of a relationship and his drug use.

The chase over 20km involved 10 garda vehicles as well as the Air Support Unit and the Garda Dog Unit, Swords District Court heard.

The matter was before the court for sentencing after Judge Cephas Power ordered a probation report.

The court heard Byrne was co-operating with the probation service and had found the experience "hugely beneficial". He had also engaged with a counsellor.

Judge Power said he would allow Byrne to continue working with the probation service and adjourned the case to October.

The defendant, of Marigold Grove in Darndale, had admitted driving without insurance or a driving licence and dangerous driving on June 9, 2020.

Garda Oisin Finnegan previously said gardaí received reports about an Audi A4 driving through Ballyboughal. The car travelled in the direction of the R132 Swords Road, gradually picking up speed.

Gardaí signalled for the vehicle to stop but it failed to do so, going through a red light at the roundabout at junction four on the M1, and heading southbound on the M1, doing speeds of 180kmh.

Gda Finnegan said the driver continuously changed lanes on the M1 to pass other vehicles. The driver took the Coolock exit off the M1, heading toward Belcamp Avenue, before crossing a green area and coming to a stop.

A defence lawyer said Byrne's mental health was not great and at the time he believed his life was under threat and he was being chased. Byrne was extremely paranoid, suffered panic attacks and his drug use did not help, the lawyer added.

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