Man jailed for high-speed chase with toddler in car
A man who didn't realise there was a two-year-old boy in the back of the car he was driving during a high-speed garda chase has been jailed for three and half years.
Daryl Bolger (23) had taken 20 tranquilizer tablets when he drove off in the uninsured car while gardai were questioning the driver outside the car.
He was a passenger in the vehicle when gardai stopped it just before 10am last January. He moved into driver's seat and sped off. The court heard the toddler was not properly restrained in the back seat.
The resulting 20-minute high-speed pursuit, which took place in suburban areas around Tallaght, led to school children running off the road and motorists swerving to avoid being struck by Bolger's car.
Bolger, of Kilcarrig Green, in Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to endangerment, five charges of dangerous driving and driving without insurance at Deerpark Avenue, Kiltipper Road, the Tallaght Bypass, the Tallaght Ring Road, Citywest Road and Whitestown Way on January 6, 2015.
His 91 previous convictions include mostly road traffic offences.
Garda Simon Whelan confirmed that Bolger was at large from Mountjoy Prison at the time having been granted temporary release to attend a drug treatment centre. He left the centre that day but didn't return to the prison.
Gda Whelan told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that at one point Bolger drove down a cul-de-sac, performed a handbrake turn and accelerated straight back towards his patrol car. He said he had to swerve out of the way to prevent a head-on collision.
Bolger drove at excessive speeds, broke red lights and his car lifted off the road as it bounced over speed bumps.
The garda helicopter was called in and tracked Bolger to his home. He was arrested there when he was caught hiding under a bed. The two-year-old was still sitting in the car.
Bolger claimed in interview that he drove off because he didn't want gardai taking the car as it wasn't taxed or insured.
Ms O'Callaghan said her client had very little recollection of the pursuit and didn't know the boy was in the car.
Along with the jail term, Judge Martin Nolan disqualified Bolger from driving for five years.