Man pleads guilty to high-speed chase reaching 180km/h

A man has pleaded guilty to a string of offences including criminal damage to a garda station and dangerous driving in two high-speed pursuits across country roads where he drove as fast as 180km/h.

Man pleads guilty to high-speed chase reaching 180km/h

A man has pleaded guilty to a string of offences including criminal damage to a garda station and dangerous driving in two high-speed pursuits across country roads where he drove as fast as 180km/h.

Timothy McCarthy, of Clohine, Kilnamartyra, Macroom in Cork had absconded to Britain after the offences which spanned some 18 months and included being arrested for being intoxicated in a courthouse.

The 24-year-old returned to Ireland recently and was on bail before appearing before Bandon District Court to plead guilty to all charges. The offending began on February 16, 2017, when he was found to be driving a car with no tax displayed when he was stopped driving a Citroen van by gardaí in Dunmanway.

On May 2, 2017, he was found to be driving a Honda Civic in Macroom with no insurance and then again on May 9, 2017, in Dunmanway, this time driving a Mercedes Sprinter. In both instances the cars were seized.

On August 22, 2017, gardaí on patrol in Dunmanway were on the look-out for a black Volvo with an Irish registration plate on the front and an English licence plate on the rear reported as acting suspiciously in Clonakilty.

The car approached gardaí and on seeing the officers the driver swerved left and accelerated away, leading to a pursuit for 27km during which the Volvo drove dangerously and at speeds as fast as 180km/h on country roads.

On December 1, 2017, McCarthy was arrested for driving while disqualified at Aherla, before two incidents of criminal damage in Dunmanway on December 17, 2017, breaking windows in an attack on the Garda station and later being seen on CCTV breaking windows at a dry cleaners.

On December 19, 2017, he was seen by gardaí driving to Dunmanway on the Bantry Line, performing a U-turn in the middle of the road before speeding off. Gardaí followed him as he drove at speeds of up to 160km/h before he pulled into a residence and ran into the house.

He then failed to appear in court on May 17, 2018, having previously been arrested for intoxication in a public place, namely Clonakilty courthouse, on January 16, 2018. He had to be removed from the courthouse on the day and was charged with public order offending.

Then on August 6, 2018, on Main St in Bantry, an accident occurred in which a Mitsubishi Space Wagon was rear-ended by a Renault Laguna driven by McCarthy. He admitted to driving too quickly and failed a breath test at the local garda station. The car was subsequently seized.

The court heard he had eight previous convictions which included failing to appear in court, possession of drugs and driving with no insurance. His solicitor, Eamonn Fleming, said McCarthy has returned home and was on bail since September 25.

He said McCarthy is now living between the houses of two of his aunts and working on the farm belonging to one of them. The court heard McCarthy had come off heroin while in Britain and is on a methadone programme in Cork City.

Judge James McNulty said McCarthy was facing “serious penalties” but while he convicted him on all charges he deferred penalty on all bar two, fining him €100 for the first no insurance change and €200 for the second no insurance charge from May 2017, alongside two and four-year driving disqualifications.

Penalty on all other matters has been deferred pending a probation report to be delivered in court on December 19, while McCarthy will appear before Bandon District Court on November 21.

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