Garda probe  | 

Suspected driver in N7 horror crash was being investigated over threats to pregnant woman

“This was an individual who gardai were hoping to arrest in relation to a number of offences”

Carl Freeman

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

One of the three criminals who was killed in the horrific N7 collision was being investigated by gardai for vile threats against a pregnant woman, it can be revealed.

Carl Freeman (26) of Rossfield Park in Tallaght is also suspected of being the driver of the BMW that burst into flames after it crashed head-on into a lorry as it drove the wrong-way the N7 northbound carriageway between Citywest and Baldonnell in south Co Dublin at 11.40pm on Wednesday.

“He was being investigated over the threats to the pregnant woman and gardai are also aware of an incident where he is suspected of interfering with the grave of a person linked to another woman that he was intimidating,” a source said.

“This was an individual who gardai were hoping to arrest in relation to a number of offences and there is no doubt that he loved engaging gardai on high-speed chases. He was off the charts,” the source added.

Freeman who had almost 70 previous criminal convictions was released from his latest jail sentence in May of last year.

He had served a six year jail sentence for the aggravated burglary of an elderly couple in a rural area near Ashford, Co Wicklow, in the early hours of March 12, 2015.

The court heard the elderly woman was left severely traumatised and terrified. She was afraid she was going to be killed and indicated she would never live on her own again. She never returned to the house and now lives with her daughter.

Freeman had previous convictions for offences including dangerous driving, endangerment, burglary, assault, and unlawful taking of a car and a judge previously called him “a menace to society.”

His pal Dean Maguire (29) who had around 30 previous criminal convictions was last in the Irish prison system in December, 2019.

Three months earlier Maguire had been arrested with other men in a case in which gardai alleged they were part of "a highly sophisticated, organised crime gang."

Dean Maguire

The gang allegedly stole €30,000 in one residential burglary and gardai claimed that that a list of other potential burglary targets allegedly compiled by the crime gang, had been found in a vehicle seized by the gardaí and was believed to have been used by the suspects.

At the time, Maguire was on-the-run from police in the UK after he absconded from an English open prison where he was serving a sentence for burglary.

Senior sources say that gardai consider Graham Taylor (31) of Kiltalown Park in Tallaght to be the “most significant criminal” of the trio who were tragically killed in the horror crash.

Taylor was released from his latest jail sentence in April and was considered “an organiser” in a ruthless Tallaght based burglary gang who were involved in a nationwide crime spree.

“Taylor was closely involved with the top tier of the burglary gang,” a source pointed out.

With over 120 previous convictions, the majority for driving offences, Taylor was jailed for two and a half years in April, 2019, for gardaí¬ on a high-speed car chase while he was serving a 40-year-driving ban.

He was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury following a trial earlier this year of three counts of endangerment and three counts of dangerous driving in Tallaght on June 19th, 2016.

Graham Taylor

And Taylor was aged only 18 when he was jailed for years for threatening a garda.

Despite the serious criminal pedigree of the three men, their deaths have caused huge shock in the Tallaght area and there have been hundreds of tributes for them from pals and family on social media.

Post-mortems were carried out on their bodied at Dublin City Morgue yesterday and gardai said this afternoon that they had still not been formally identified.

The truck driver aged in his 40’s who suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries is still being treated at University Hospital Tallaght.

Flowers at the scene of the collision

The dark blue BMW 3 series car first came to garda attention after being spotted near the Cookstown Cottages area of Tallaght.

Gardaí became suspicious of the vehicle but when they signalled for the driver to stop, the car sped away.

A patrol vehicle gave chase and pursued the car along the Cheeverstown Road.

When the suspect car entered the N7 on the wrong-side of the dual carriageway, gardaí stopped pursuing the vehicle for safety reasons.

The BMW vehicle then crashed into a truck before bursting into flames.

Sources added that the driver of the vehicle was dressed as a pizza delivery driver and suspect this may have been a disguise to carry out burglaries or "scope out" properties undetected.

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