Teen drove on three wheels and broke 24 traffic lights in chase
A teenager who drove a stolen car on three wheels while leading eight patrol cars and a garda helicopter on a high-speed chase is to be sentenced for dangerous driving.
Gda Kieran Kilcoyne told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Sean Rausch had been spotted driving a Hyundai and refused to stop for gardai.
The chase lasted for 31 minutes, during which Rausch ran 24 sets of traffic lights, crossed over green areas, drove around three roundabouts the wrong way and drove on the wrong side of a national road for 2km.
Eight patrol cars were involved in the chase. Nine minutes into it the Hyundai spun out of control, bursting the rear driver’s side wheel, yet Rausch continued to drive.
The garda air support unit was called in and the chase ultimately came to an end after gardai used a stinger – a portable spiked device – to puncture its tyres. Rausch was taken from the car and arrested.
Fiona Murphy, prosecuting, said Rausch (18) was unlawfully at large at the time, having previously been arrested for his part in a mugging and an attempted mugging of two groups of schoolboys.
Judge Melanie Greally sentenced him to two-and-a-half years for the robberies, but adjourned the case to July to determine what sentence to impose for the garda chase.
Rausch pleaded guilty to two attempted robberies in Old Bawn Tallaght last April 22; two robberies at The Square Shopping Centre, Tallaght, last April 29, 2015; and taking possession of a Hyundai Santa Fe knowing it was stolen, handling stolen car keys, driving against
the traffic and dangerous divining in the Tallaght area last May 26.
He has 42 previous convictions which were all dealt with in the district court and include 14 for robbery, burglary, sexual assault and assault.
Kieran Kelly, defending, said Rausch – of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght – was now remorseful and was hoping to rehabilitate.
Judge Greally said it was “shocking to see the number of convictions recorded by someone so young”, but acknow-
ledged that Rausch had known some difficulties in the past.
Dealing with the robbery convictions, the judge said the schoolboys were set upon and subjected to “an unprovoked and gratuitous episode of violence”.
Judge Greally noted that at the Square Shopping Centre, Rausch’s accomplice had “instigated the thefts”, but he had elbowed one boy and burst his lip.
She said the sentence for the dangerous driving offence must be consecutive to the two-and-a-half years she was imposing for the robberies.
Judge Greally adjourned the case to July to allow for the preparation of a probation report as she said the sentence would have to “incorporate
an appropriate regime for Rausch’s re-introduction into society, otherwise there is a high likelihood that he will re-offend”.