herald

Friday 19 April 2019

Banned driver led gardai on 120kph Father's Day chase

Graham Taylor sped away
Graham Taylor sped away

A dangerous driver with more than 100 previous convictions who led gardai on a high-speed chase in west Dublin had already been banned from driving for 40 years, a court has heard.

Graham Taylor (29) sped away from a garda who recognised him while stopped at a junction. He was driving at more than 120kph in a 50kph zone while families were "out and about" on Father's Day.

Taylor, of Kiltalown Park, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to three counts of endangerment and three of dangerous driving.

He was tried by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury and found guilty. Judge Karen O'Connor adjourned sentencing to next week.

At yesterday's hearing, Detective Garda David Jennings said he was driving an unmarked patrol car at Brookfield Road, Tallaght, at 12.30pm on June 19, 2016.

As he waited for the lights to change at a junction, he saw a blue VW Passat coming from the direction of the Naas Road. He recognised Taylor driving.

When the lights turned green, the Passat took off at high speed, breaking another red light and overtaking traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road and forcing oncoming cars to brake hard.

It went the wrong way round Molly Heffernan's Roundabout, nearly colliding with cars.

Traffic had to brake hard and mount the footpath to avoid it on Fortunestown Lane.

The patrol car followed at 120kph in a 100kph zone, with the Passat pulling away from it, Det Gda Jennings said.

It drove past Lidl at high speed on the wrong side of the road and up Citywest Road before the officers lost sight of it.

There were lots of families out and about as it was Father's Day, Det Gda Jennings said.

Difficulties

Taylor had 121 previous convictions, including nearly 100 for motoring offences.

Defence barrister Karl Monahan said the incident lasted for two minutes and there were no collisions or injuries.

Taylor now had a young child and was motivated to tackle his difficulties with cannabis and cocaine use, Mr Monahan said. He had been drug-free for 18 months.

He was remanded in custody to a date next week.

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