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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Garda crash deaths driver guilty of new motoring offences

Raymond Dowdall ‘would do anything to avoid jail’. Photo: Collins
Raymond Dowdall ‘would do anything to avoid jail’. Photo: Collins

A Dublin man who was jailed for a joyriding crash that killed two gardai has been given a suspended sentence for new motoring offences.

Raymond Dowdall (30), who was given an eight-year sentence and a 30-year road ban in 2003, is now working for a security company, a court heard.

Dowdall was the driver of a stolen Mazda MX5 when it smashed into a patrol car containing Gda Anthony Tighe (53) and Gda Michael Padden (27) on the Stillorgan dual carriageway early on April 14, 2002.

Dowdall was aged 16 at the time and already had a litany of prior convictions.

The father-of-one appeared yesterday before Dublin District Court, where he entered guilty pleas via his barrister to two motoring offences, driving without insurance and a licence, last July 13 at Galtymore Road.

Dowdall turned up late for his hearing and a bench warrant was issued, but Judge Hugh O'Donnell cancelled it when his barrister said he had arrived and there was a guilty plea.

Gda Marcus Regan, of Sundrive Road Station, told Judge O'Donnell that Dowdall had 51 prior convictions.

Dangerous

They included two counts of dangerous driving causing death of gardai. He also had four previous convictions for driving without insurance.

Judge O'Donnell noted that the accused had been driving while disqualified when he committed his latest offence.

Gda Regan agreed with the defence barrister that Dowdall, who did not address the court, had been cooperative and had not been driving dangerously.

In pleas for leniency, Judge O'Donnell was told Dowdall - of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh - had gone to his partner's house and took her car after a row.

He has a young child to care for and was apologetic.

The court heard he was now working for a security firm and would do anything to avoid going into custody.

He was willing to do community service, counsel also said.

Judge O'Donnell noted that he had already served an eight-year sentence, but added that "it does not seem to have worked".

He imposed a five-month jail sentence but suspended it on condition that Dowdall does not re-offend for the next two years.

Fines totalling €750 were also imposed, but Judge O'Donnell said there would be no point imposing another road ban because Dowdall is already disqualified from driving.

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