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Driver’s three chases in four months with gardai

A DANGEROUS driver who ploughed into a garden wall and destroyed it following one of three separate road rampages, has been jailed for six months.

Graham Kelly (38) caused more than €3,300 worth of damage to the wall and had stolen telecom equipment valued at €3,600 in his van when caught.

The incident was one of three separate chases that Kelly led gardai on in the space of four months.

Judge David McHugh told Blanchardstown District Court Kelly had put lives at risk during an offending period of “fantastic proportions”.

He jailed him, fined him €1,500 and banned him from driving for five years.

Kelly, of Buirg An Ri Glen, Balgaddy pleaded guilty to multiple charges of dangerous driving, as well as burglary by “fishing” car keys from a letterbox, possession of stolen property, criminal damage and unauthorised use of a vehicle.

The father-of-one had been feeding an “out of control” drink and drugs habit after losing his job as a builder.

The court heard gardai were on patrol at 7.45pm on October 9, 2013 when they saw the accused driving a van at speed.

It failed to stop and led them on a 20-minute pursuit through the Clondalkin area driving against oncoming traffic with “no regard for the safety of people or vehicles”.

He then ploughed into a private driveway, crashing into the boundary wall. The van had stolen licence plates.

On November 19, Kelly fished keys out of a letterbox at Willow Rise, Celbridge and stole an Opel Astra.

Later, gardai saw it being driven erratically in Leixlip at 110kph in an 80kph zone. He drove through road works, causing workmen to jump out of the way.

After 29km, he abandoned the car in Lucan and tried to escape through school grounds.

The third, 10-minute pursuit was on January 28 last at the Clane to Kilcock Road in Co Kildare.