DRIVING off without paying for over €50 worth of petrol was the beginning of a chain of events which saw the motorist jailed for three years and banned from driving for 20 years.
Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a six-month prison sentence on the accused for the petrol theft.
The judge warned that people who drive off without paying for petrol faced prison.
30-year-old Daniel Culhane who lives at an apartment at Owenahincha, Rosscarbery, County Cork, pleaded guilty to the drive-off at a Circle K garage in Cork.
Eddie Burke solicitor said this was start of an event that saw him getting the three-year sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for a dangerous driving spree in West Cork.
Garda Michelle Conway charged Culhane with the petrol theft. He had three previous theft convictions and three for burglary, Sgt. John Kelleher said.
The latest six months sentence will run concurrently with the longer sentence imposed at the circuit court.
Detective Garda Manus O’Donnell outlined the background to the spree of offences committed by Culhane on that day, including shoplifting and a series of dangerous driving offences over a long distance on December 16, 2020.
On the Bandon to Enniskeane road he crossed the centre of the road to his incorrect side 20 times and into the ditch on either side of the road on five occasions.
At one stage Culhane drove continuously on the wrong side of the road and oncoming motorists had to take evasive action.