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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 20 October, 2018
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Teenager jailed after deliberately driving car at garda patrol vehicle

Ross Thompson pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of endangerment and a charge of dangerous driving.

Image: Chodyra Mike via Shutterstock

A TEENAGER WHO deliberately drove a vehicle at a garda patrol car three times during a high-speed chase has been jailed for 16 months.

Ross Thompson (19) mounted the footpath many times, drove over the median strip dividing the road, broke red lights, drove onto residential green areas and drove the Toyota Yaris on the wrong side of the road.

He performed numerous handbrake turns and during three of these, positioned the vehicle to be facing the patrol car head-on before driving straight at the officers.

Thompson had no valid license or insurance at the time and the Yaris belonged to a family member.

Thompson of Dolmen Terrace, Ballymun, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of endangerment and a charge of dangerous driving at Northwood Avenue, Santry, Balbutcher Lane, Ballymun and St Margaret’s Road, also Ballymun on 3 January 2018.

High-speed chase

Garda Robert English told Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, that his attention was first drawn to the vehicle, just after 7pm that evening, when he noticed the exhaust was almost hitting the ground and there was a loud noise coming from the engine.

Thompson failed to pull over the Yaris when indicated to do so and instead accelerated away leading to a high-speed chase.

Many motorists had to take evasive action during Thompson’s driving, including one driver who had to slam on his brakes after Thompson overtook him at speed before pulling in very suddenly in front of him.

Garda English said Thompson later pulled up the vehicle outside his home, ran into the building and locked himself in.

Gardaí had to call in colleagues to assist in breaking down the front door and Thompson was ultimately arrested after he was found hiding in the attic.

Previous convictions

Thompson has 56 previous convictions, including road traffic, dangerous driving and possession of knives. He was on bail for a drug dealing offence at the time of his arrest and has since been jailed for the drug conviction. He is due for release in December 2019.

Judge Martin Nolan said there was “no doubt” that other road users were frightened by Thompson’s driving and that he could have injured or killed someone.

He described Thompson hiding in his home as “fairly pathetic behaviour”.

Judge Nolan sentenced Thompson to 16 months in prison consecutive to the current term he is already serving. He disqualified him from driving for six years.

Garda English agreed with Gerardine Small BL, defending that nobody was injured during the pursuit nor was there any damage caused.

He accepted that there were “no problems” once he was arrested.

Garda English further accepted that none of Thompson’s siblings have come to garda attention and he was “effectively the black sheep”.

Small said her client was doing well in custody, had completed a crime awareness course and had linked in with the Probation Service.

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Sonya McLean

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