A young man who rammed a pursuing garda patrol car in a stolen jeep after colliding with a van while driving through Baldoyle at high speed has received a six year sentence with three years suspended.
Paul Dunphy (aged 22) was also observed by gardaí breaking red lights, zig-zagging through traffic and making other attempts to ram their patrol car in a stolen Toyota Landcruiser in the early hours of the morning of September 27, 2008.
Dunphy, of Broombridge Road, Cabra, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to eight counts relating to burglary, the theft of the jeep, criminal damage, reckless endangerment and possession of a weapon.
Dunphy pleaded guilty to six counts relating to dangerous driving and the theft of a silver Mercedes car at Sycamore Grove Road, Malahide on October 14, 2008.
He also pleaded guilty to stealing two laptops, an Apple iTouch phone, a Compaq laptop and car keys with a total value of €1,620 from a house in Tara Court, Balbriggan on August 17, 2008.
Judge Frank O’Donnell said the court had heard a detailed description of Dunphy’s shattered childhood when he suffered chronic abuse.
Judge O’Donnell told Dunphy that he must realise that the court was affording him “a chance” with his sentence.
Garda Brian Murphy told Ms Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that a woman encountered a man in her kitchen in Kinsealy, Malahide at 4:30 am on the morning of September 27 after she was awoken by the sound of broken glass.
Ms Nicola Jordan that the man quickly climbed back out of the kitchen window and gave her the finger as he drove away from the house in her husband’s black Toyota Landcruiser.
Gda Murphy said he and his colleague gave chase to Dunphy after he was identified driving the stolen Landcruiser close to Sutton cross just over two hours later.
Dunphy accelerated at speed along Station road and kept moving after he had collided with a white Ford Transit van which was turning on to Strand Road.
During the pursuit Dunphy failed to stop at red lights and attempted to ram pursuing gardaí head-on whilst going the wrong way around a roundabout.
After making other attempts to ram gardaí, he successfully reversed in to the passenger side of the chasing patrol car before skewing off and colliding with a further four parked cars while driving through the Red Arches estate in Baldoyle at speed.
After searching Dunphy gardaí uncovered a flick Stanley knife, as well as a pink Nokia phone, a cheque for €1,000 and car keys which had also been reported stolen from Russell Court, Malahide earlier that morning.
Gda Murphy agreed with Mr Michael Hourigan BL, defending, that Dunphy said he did not break in to the house in Kinsealy and was merely “keeping a lookout”.
He described in interview consuming alcohol and taking sleeping tablets prior to the offence and said that he totally regretted stealing the vehicle.
Garda Kevin Farrell told Ms Rowland that Dunphy made off in the stolen Mercedes on October 12 having gained entry to a house on Sycamore Grove using a key left under a flower pot.
After encountering a patrol car at 5:30am whilst driving the stolen vehicle, Dunphy took off at speed and was observed by gardaí taking blind bends on the wrong side of the road, breaking red lights and accelerating to speeds of 140 km/h.
After driving through Raheny village at 120 km/h and breaking a red light at Clarehall shooping centre, Dunphy lost control of the vehicle and hit a lamppost, writing off the car at a cost of €16,000.
In interview Dunphy, who has 34 previous convictions, admitted to burglary at Sycamore Grove Road and taking the car, telling gardaí he had done so because he was cold and was “trying to get home”.
Mr Hourigan said that Dunphy, who committed the offence while on bail for stealing the Toyota Landcruiser in September, was a very young man with an appalling history who had witnessed chronic domestic violence growing up.
He said that Dunphy’s father had been violent towards his wife and children, and that on one occasion when Dunphy’s mother had tried to escape the abuse by fleeing to a woman’s refuge, her husband followed her and fire-bombed the building.