Limerick criminal jailed over high speed pursuit

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Tony Kelly was sentenced to five months' imprisonment
A LIMERICK man who drove at speeds in excess of 130kph while being pursued by gardai on narrow rural roads has been sentenced to five months imprisonment.

A LIMERICK man who drove at speeds in excess of 130kph while being pursued by gardai on narrow rural roads has been sentenced to five months imprisonment.

Tony Kelly, aged 25, who has addresses at O’Malley Park and Lilac Court in the city, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of dangerous driving relating to an incident on June 9, 2014.

Inspector Brian O’Donovan told Limerick District Court that Kelly, who was driving a silver Honda Accord, pulled out in front of two detectives as they were on patrol in the John Carew Park area of the city.

After the detectives pulled in behind the vehicle, it took off at speed.

Judge Aeneas McCarthy was told a high-speed pursuit then followed with Kelly leaving the city and travelling in the Ballysheedy direction before turning onto narrow rural roads.

Insp O’Donovan said a number of vehicles, which were travelling against Kelly, had to take evasive action and that, at one point, the defendant pretended to turn into O’Malley Park in an attempt to lose the gardai.

Kelly, who had a prison sentence for a separate robbery offence lengthened by the Court of Appeal in June, was apprehended following a foot-chase after he drove down a cul-de-sac near Drombanna.

Laurence Goucher BL said his client, who has 58 previous convictions, is “well on his way to becoming a recidivist”.

He said the “thrill of the chase” had taken hold of Kelly when he saw the two detectives and that he could not speculate as to why he had driven in the manner he did.

Urging the judge to be lenient, Mr Goucher said his client is going through a “very bad phase in his life” at present.

He added that he had pleaded guilty and “didn’t try to play the game” by seeking to delay the court proceedings.

Judge McCarthy imposed a five month prison sentence, which he ordered be served consecutively to the sentence Kelly is currently serving.

The defendant was also disqualified from driving for ten years.