A Portlaoise man who was stopped by gardaí with stolen chainsaws in his car after a road chase in which he drove at speed in a dangerous manner was last week given a suspended prison sentence.
Darren McInerney, 1 New Road, Portlaoise, was charged with two counts of possessing stolen property and one count of the possession of drugs, at Bawnogermeely, Abbeyleix; and dangerous driving, driving without a licence or insurance, and failing to stop, at Aghoney, Abbeyleix, all on February 22, 2013.
Inspector Declan Dunne gave evidence that gardaí received reports of the occupants of a car towing a small horse-box taking chainsaws from farmyards in the Spink area. Gardaí observed the vehicle and signalled it to stop, but the car instead drove off at speed in a dangerous manner. A pursuit ensued and the car eventually stopped, but the driver initially refused to exit. The stolen chainsaws were recovered in the car.
McInerney has 25 previous convictions.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said his client was under no illusion as to what was facing him as he now stood before the court.
Mr Meagher said that following McInerney’s release from prison in early 2013 he had experienced difficulties at home with his wife and was homeless for a period. Through drinking and drugs he undid a lot of the good work he had done in prison, and “re-ignited some associations”.
“For three of four months he was out of control, begging and involved in various activities,” said Mr Meagher.
“These sort of crimes are the scourge of farmers,” said Judge Catherine Staines, imposing a ten-month sentence, suspended for two years. For dangerous driving McInerney was fined €300 and disqualified from driving for two years, with another €300 fine and two-year ban imposed on the charge of no insurance. The charges of no licence and the possession of drugs were taken into consideration.