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Saturday 3 December 2016

Gardai gave up chasing teenage driver as it was 'too dangerous'

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Foley was
Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Foley was "driving only a short period of time" when the dangerous driving happened (Stock picture)

A teenager who led gardai on high-speed chases through two north Co Dublin villages three times in a month has been sentenced to six months' detention.

Keith Foley (19) was also handed a six-year driving ban after he narrowly avoided hitting an elderly pedestrian and reversed into a patrol car.

Foley, of St Catherine's Grove, Rush, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in Rush and Lusk on September 11 and September 21 last year and dangerous driving last October 2.

He admitted to possession of cannabis for sale or supply on May 18 and October 2, 2015.

On September 11 last year, Foley was signalled to stop by gardai in St Catherine's Park, Rush. He reversed into a patrol car and took off at speed along Skerries Road, overtaking cars in heavy rain at speeds of 100kph and 120kph before reversing again and hitting the patrol car.

He took off again down a country lane travelling at 90kph. He overtook cars and a tractor and gardai made the decision to stop following him as it was too dangerous.

Checkpoint

On September 21, Foley was driving at speed in Rush. When he crashed into a pole, he left the scene in another car.

On October 2, Foley was driving a Ford Mondeo which had turned away from a checkpoint.

While gardai were chasing him he travelled at speed along a number of roads in Lusk while children were crossing a road.

He forced road users to take evasive action and was speeding along Village Road before skidding at a junction, narrowly avoiding an elderly pedestrian.

He continued to travel at speed and jumped out of the moving car before running toward St Catherine's estate. A chase on foot ensued and he was arrested a short time later.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Foley was "driving only a short period of time" when the dangerous driving happened.

She said he "went off the rails" after a relationship broke up last year.

"He started taking drugs and behaving in a bad way," said Ms D'Arcy.

Judge Dermot Dempsey handed down the sentence at Balbriggan District Court.

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