A Dublin man who continued to drive a badly damaged stolen car on three wheel rims while being followed by seven garda patrol cars has been jailed for five and a half years.
Callum Norton (24) was on a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence for a firearms offence when he hotwired a car after an argument with his then partner and said he panicked when he saw gardai, failed to stop and drove dangerously at high speed.
Norton, of Sheepmoor Crescent, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unauthorised taking of a car, dangerous driving, criminal damage to a car and driving without insurance or a driving licence in north Co Dublin.
He further pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply on August 23, 2019.
Garda Chris Bellew told Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, that he was on mobile patrol when he spotted a red Mitsubishi Colt which had earlier been reported as failing to stop for gardai in Skerries.
He said the vehicle, with Norton as the sole occupant, was travelling in the direction of Swords and at this point had lost a tyre and was driving on a wheel rim, causing sparks and dust on the road.
Gardai signalled to it to stop and kept the car under observation as it drove at speed through a roundabout on the wrong side, causing other road users to swerve out of the way. It was at one point followed by seven patrol cars as it drove through a red light and over speed bumps.
A cyclist had to take evasive action, mounting the grass verge and falling off their bike.
Judge Greally noted he came from a hardworking and decent background but developed an addiction at a young age. She imposed consecutive sentences totalling four and a half years before reactivating the two-and-a-half year suspended sentence and suspending the final 18 months.