Teen drug addict jailed for six years

A teenage drug addict who was arrested after a garda followed him over a wall on a cliff at Howth Head at 4am has been given a six -year sentence by Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Daryl Matthews (aged 18) of Whitestown Park, Mulhuddart was caught following a high-speed chase on September 23, 2006 during which he drove a stolen car at speeds of 110 mph before he stopped the car at a wall, blocking his passenger in.

He then jumped over the wall which separated the roadway from a series of high cliffs and was quickly followed by Garda Shane McGrane who caught him on a grass verge just on top of the cliffs.

A year later, Matthews and an accomplice threatened to throw two teenagers into a river in Rush if they didn’t hand over their money.

A mobile phone and €10 was handed over after he head butted one boy but the two victims managed to run off and one of them contacted his father who advised them to follow the culprits at a safe distance.

The father then drove to meet the teenagers and the three of them marched Matthews and his accomplice to the garda station.

Matthews also robbed a handbag from a woman at a supermarket in Blanchardstown in 2007 and was on bail for each offence when he committed the next.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and unlawful use of a vehicle September 23, 2006 and to committing the later offences on dates between September 8, 2006 and April 25, 2007. He had 53 previous convictions.

Gda McShane agreed with prosecuting counsel, Mr Noel Devitt BL, that he was concerned for both his and Matthews’ safety in the Howth Head incident.

Gda McGrane said Matthews performed a hand brake turn right in front of his unmarked patrol car before he drove thr stolen Mitsubishi off at speed, breaking a red light and overtaking a vehicle while another car was approaching on the other side of the road.

Mr Thomas Pearse BL, defending, said Matthews apologised to the court, the gardai and his victims. He wished to be a "productive member of society" and was attending The Bond Project in an effort to address his drug addiction and educational deficits.

Mr Pearse said Matthews had "extensive family support" and asked Judge Delahunt to take into account his young age, his co-operation with gardaí and remorse for his actions.

Judge Delahunt suspended the final two years of the six-year term on strict conditions.

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