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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Man who crashed car after taking six ecstasy tablets jailed for two years

Anthony Ward (26) drove the car at night with the lights switched off at speeds of up to 160 km/hr.

Park West Avenue in Ballyfermot.
Park West Avenue in Ballyfermot.
Image: Google Street View

A HIGH SPEED car chase ended when the driver crashed into traffic lights sending the lights flying into a parked car, a court has heard.

Anthony Ward (26) drove the car at night with the lights switched off at speeds of up to 160 km/hr in areas with a speed limit of 60 km/hr. He broke red lights and caused oncoming traffic to veer out of the way.

Ward drove over speed bumps at an estimated speed of 120 km/hr until he finally lost control of the car. The stolen vehicle spun 360 degrees twice before crashing into two sets of traffic lights.

The force of the impact caused one set of lights to be lifted from its base and fly over a fence. The light went through the front window of a car parked nearby and lodged in the dashboard.

Ward of Neilstown Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving on Park West Avenue, Ballyfermot on 7 July 2015. He also admitted driving a stolen car, driving while drunk and driving with no insurance on the same occasion. He was banned from driving at the time.

Brian Storan BL, defending, said his client had instructed him that his reasons for committing the crimes were his anger management issues. Storan said that Ward is the middle son and that neither his older brother or younger sister had ever got into trouble.

The court heard that Ward’s father was a very violent and abusive man and that this had affected Ward.

“Anger at his home relationships manifested in him getting behind a wheel. The anger manifested in his abusing alcohol and tablets,” counsel said.

Garda Colm Byrne told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that he was on patrol with another garda when they saw a Toyota Avensis driven by Ward crossing across a roundabout at speed.

The patrol car began following and Ward switched the lights off and accelerated to speeds of 160km/hr. Gda Byrne said that at times the driver was struggling to maintain control and the back of the Avensis was swinging from left to right.

After crashing the car, Ward and a passenger ran for it but gardaí caught Ward. He told gardaí he had taken six ecstasy tablets and said: “I’m fucked”. He was also found to have 145mg of alcohol per 100ml urine.

Judge Karen O’Connor imposed a three year prison sentence with one year suspended on condition he engage with the probation services. She also disqualified him from driving for six years.

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Declan Brennan

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