Donegal Motorist who rammed PSNI car following Garda chase given ‘half a chance’

 

court

A judge told a motorist who drove at over 150 kilometres per hour to escape Gardai and then rammed a PSNI car on the other side of the border in Northern Ireland that he was giving him “half a chance” to escape further terms in jail.

Judge Kevin Kilrane was dealing with several dangerous driving charges in the one Garda chase against 31 year old Stephen Crerand.

Donegal District Court was told that Crerand, with an address in Straith Aoibhinn, Stranorlar, had a list of 164 previous convictions on 96 pages.

The previous offences were mainly in Northern Ireland where Crerand, said to have grown up in impoverished circumstances in Derry, has served several terms in prison.

Supt Colm Nevin told Judge Kevin Kilrane today that Crerand served six months imposed at Strabane court for ramming the PSNI car near Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, the same night he fled across the border when escaping gardai on October 20, 2012.

Crerand admitted five dangerous driving charges, when already banned, at locations near Donegal town and Barnesmore Gap.

The court heard that Det Gda Paul McHugh, in an unmarked patrol car, followed jobless Crerand when he saw him using a mobile phone while driving.

Crerand forced a number of cars on to the hard shoulder as he drove irrationally and apparently under the influence of alcohol.

At one stage Det McHugh reached up to 150 kilometres an hour as he followed Crerand before the defendant crossed the border on his way to Castlederg.

Judge Kilrane noted that Crerand, with an address at the time of the offences at Garvan Court, Ballybofey but said to be now living at his Stranorlar address, had served a number of prison sentences for car thefts and burglary in the North.

The judge said he was giving Crerand “half a chance” and was remanding him on bail for a Probation report on July 25.