Car chase sentencing adjourned at Donegal District Court

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The case against a Stranorlar resident who drove at up to 150 kilometres per hour to escape gardai and then rammed a PSNI car near Castlederg has been further adjourned to check if he committed any more crimes since the chase.

Judge Kevin Kilrane said at Donegal District Court today that he wished to know if 31-year-old Stephen Crerand had committed further offences either side of the border since the chase in 2012.

Supt Colm Nevin said the chase happened when gardai from Donegal town going towards Ballybofey met a car travelling in the opposite direction that was swerving from side to side.

When signalled, the driver stopped and then used his hand-brake to turn and drove off at high speed.

A communication was sent to the PSNI when it was noted Crerand was heading for the border at speeds of up to 150 km/h. He attempted to side-swipe a Garda patrol car on a number of occasions. He successfully escaped into Northern Ireland where he was arrested by the PSNI after ramming their patrol car in Castlederg.

The court was told that Crerand, with an address in Straith Aoibhinn, Stranorlar, had a list of 164 previous convictions and had served several terms of imprisonment in Northern Ireland.

Crerand admitted five dangerous driving charges, when already banned, at locations near Donegal town and Barnesmore Gap on October 20, 2012.

An earlier hearing in April was told he served six months imposed at Strabane court for ramming the PSNI car in 2012.

In April Judge Kilrane said he was giving Crerand “half a chance” to avoid jail when he remanded him on bail for a Probation report.

The judge said today, after studying the report, that before passing sentence he wanted to check if Crerand was involved in any other offences either side of the border since 2012.

He adjourned sentence until October 5.