Car thief fled through river after crashing €50k Mercedes

A man who drove a stolen Mercedes through a fence during a high-speed garda chase before wading through a river to avoid capture has been jailed for three years.

John Byrne, aged 28, of Stonebridge Avenue, Hartstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty to using a car without the owner’s consent and recklessly damaging it at the M3 motorway in Damastown on February 3, 2015.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday that a Mercedes worth over €50,000 was stolen in Charlemont estate off Griffith Avenue, Dublin at about 4.30am on February 3. A short time later, the car was spotted by gardaí travelling along the M3 motorway near the Navan Road and a pursuit was initiated.

Under questioning from Gerardine Small, prosecuting, Det Garda Cliff Singleton told the court the car hit a roundabout and nearly flipped over before speeding away at 210kph. It then hit another roundabout, crashed through a stop sign and a fence, before coming to a halt in wasteland.

Byrne then got out and ran away from pursuing gardaí, wading through a river before eventually being captured.

Lisa Daly, defending, said Byrne “panicked” when he saw gardaí pursuing him.

“He hugely regrets this,” she said.


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