Man pretended car was stolen after  high-speed Garda chase 

by Gazette Reporter
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By Brion Hoban

A man who crashed a car during a high speed garda pursuit and later claimed that the car had been stolen has received a fully suspended sentence. 

After writing off his then partner’s car by crashing into a tree, Michael McDonagh (30) fled from the scene. His then partner later made a a report to Gardaí claiming that the car had been stolen during a burglary and a claim was also made to an insurance company. 

Gardaí seized the mobile phones of McDonagh and his partner and found messages which indicated that McDonagh had been driving the car and he had asked his partner to make a statement that it was stolen. 

McDonagh of Nutgrove Crescent, Rathfarnham pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to knowingly making a false statement at Tallaght Garda Station on April 3, 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to deceive RSA insurance at RSA House, Dundrum, on dates between April 3 and May 5, 2020. He has one previous conviction for drink driving for which he received a four year driving ban. 

Passing sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said it seems McDonagh decided to evade gardaí for “whatever reason”, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into “a very valuable tree”. 

Judge Nolan said a “totally false” report was made about the car being stolen, as well as a claim to an insurance company. He said this was “pretty confounding” as the defendant must have known the gardaí had “strong suspicions”. 

The judge said this was “certainly a stupid decision”, but said it seems the insurance claim was always going to fail. He said McDonagh was “probably unlikely” to offend to this degree in the future. 

Judge Nolan sentenced McDonagh to two years imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions. 

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