A MAN who pleaded guilty to almost 50 road traffic and theft offences received the maximum sentence allowable in the district court.
Limerick Court was told that Stephen Bourke, aged 24, who has addresses at Gortatogher, Parteen and Ballynanty committed the offences over a two year period with the most recent incident happening on Easter Saturday.
Sergeant Donal Cronin said on that date the defendant drove at speed around the car park of the Crescent Shopping Centre while being pursued by gardai.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly noted that he was previously told at a Special Court sitting that Mr Bourke was only apprehended after he drove into a Cul-de-Sac after exiting the car park.
The court was told that Mr Bourke was disqualified from driving at the time and that he had been stopped driving on at least seven other occasions while he was disqualified.
The theft offences, the court heard, related to car parts such as alloy wheels, spoilers, wind visors and wing mirrors.
Most of the car parts were stolen from cars which were parked at the Crescent Shopping Centre.
Solicitor John Devane said his client, who suffers from chronic ADHD, has a fascination with cars and “loves being in cars and motor vehicles”.
He said the father-of-three was a “very foolish young man” and was “out of control” but that he now appreciates how crazy his actions were.
Judge O’Kelly said the defendant has shown a “flagrant disregard for the law” and he said the fact he continued to drive while disqualified amount to contempt.
He said Mr Bourke had no regard for the owners of the cars he targeted and he said on Easter Saturday he had shown a “reckless disregard for the safety of those who were out and about in the Crescent Shopping Centre.
The judge imposed prison sentences totalling 24 months and he ordered that the sentences should be served consecutively to a twelve month prison sentence, which was imposed at Ennis Court last month for a spate of similar offences.
Mr Bourke was also disqualified from driving for 25 years and he was fined just over €6,000 for the theft offences.
His solicitor has since lodged an appeal against the severity of the sentence imposed upon him.