A judge has jailed a man for a “bizarre, criminal, appalling and dangerous” driving rampage through the streets of Ennis.
On the occasion, Eddie Casey crashed into six cars including one being driven by a woman who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
The 53-year-old Limerick man was banned from driving for 20 years in 2005 but in Ennis last June, Casey evaded capture from gardaí in a car chase across Ennis’s streets before crashing his blue Nissan Primera into two cars when driving up the wrong way down the one-way O’Connell St in Ennis town centre.
Casey of Park View Court, Lord Edward St, Limerick, was jailed for 11 years in 2006 for the aggravated sexual assault and assault causing harm to a female Galway student in September 2004.
During the driving rampage in Ennis on June 14, Mr Casey crashed into a red Vauxhall people carrier being driven by the heavily pregnant woman as she was turning right into a garage forecourt on Ennis’s Mill Rd.
Mr Casey then broke through a red light and drove up Carmody St before taking a left into the Market and proceeded onto Barrack St.
Det Garda Frank Browne said that it was a sunny evening and there were people sitting at tables outside the Gourmet Store restaurant on Barrack St who had to take evasive action as Casey crashed into nearby cars.
He said that Casey continued along Barrack St before taking a left to go the wrong way down the one way O’Connell St where he crashed into two more cars before gardaí apprehended him as he fled the scene by foot.
Gardaí were earlier alerted to Casey on the day after he told a garda to “fuck off” and sped away when asked for his driver’s licence at Ballyvaughan.
Det Browne said Casey may have been suffering withdrawal symptoms from heroin on the day. He said no person was injured.
Judge Patrick Durcan said that Casey’s “absolutely appalling driving” had put “so many lives potentially in danger” and praised the gardaí for their courage and expertise in putting a stop to Mr Casey.
Insp John O’Sullivan told the court that Casey has 89 previous convictions including eight for dangerous driving and eight for drink driving.
Jailing Casey for 17 months and banning him from driving for 10 years for the Ennis incident and a separate dangerous driving incident in south east Clare in September 2013, Judge Durcan said that Mr Casey has “a horrific record” for road traffic offences.
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