A teenager who led gardaí on a high speed pursuit in the middle of the day, broke a red light and narrowly missed knocking down an elderly woman has been jailed for two years.
Brandon Brannock (19) with an address at Hollytree Terrace, Poppintree, Ballymun, Dublin pleaded guilty to one count of endangerment and one count of criminal damage to a car in Ballymun on December 6th, 2019. He was 17 at the time of the offence.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that at one point during the pursuit, the four wheels of Brannock's car left the ground as it flew over speed ramps.
He also crossed to the wrong side of the road a number of times, causing a woman and a small child to leap out of the way for fear his car was about to mount the footpath.
Brannock has 32 previous convictions, including drug and road traffic offences.
Handing down sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said that Brannock endangered other road users on the day in question and “caused stress and fear” to others.
He noted Brannock had a number of previous convictions, but was still a young man.
Judge Martin Nolan handed down a sentence of three years and suspended the final year on a number of conditions. He disqualified him from driving for a period of four years.
A local garda told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that he was on patrol with a colleague around 2pm on the day in question, when Brannock pulled up in a car beside them.
Brannock, who had three male passengers in the car, turned his face away as soon as he spotted the gardaí, who both recognised him.
The gardaí were aware Brannock did not have a licence, and they saw that his car was not displaying an 'L' plate. Brannock pulled off at speed and did not comply with directions to pull over.
A pursuit ensued, during which Brannock drove at speed, swerved to the wrong side of the road several times and broke a red light.
An elderly woman was crossing the road at the time and Brannock swerved to avoid hitting her. He missed her by an estimated four feet, the court heard.
The pursuit ended when Brannock crashed into a parked car, causing considerable damage to it.
The four young men then fled the car and ran into a nearby house, where two of them lived.
When gardaí attempted to enter the house, they were refused entry by a man who appeared at the door, the court heard. Brannock was charged at a later date.
Defence counsel said Brannock had a difficult upbringing. Both his parents were heroin addicts, and he was brought up by his great-grandparents.
The court heard he “panicked” when he spotted the gardaí, to whom he was well-known and that he made “exactly the wrong choice”. The incident was not pre-meditated, the court heard.