Naas District Court heard an extraordinary story last Wednesday, September 26, of a young man with a chaotic history who had appeared for the first time in court to face seven serious charges.
Jimmy Cash whose address is listed as 25 Knockmore, Wexford Road, Arklow, Wicklow, but who has, in the past, been homeless faced charges of the theft of a car, theft of €1,350, four counts of dangerous driving and one county of driving while under the influence of an intoxicant.
Mr. Cash was born on February 10, 1993.
On May 5, 2011 Garda John Joe O’Connell said he spotted a Toyota Yaris travelled very fast up the N7.
He described how the car was weaving from lane to lane.
He activated the blue lights on the Garda car and gave chase, reaching speeds of in excess of 160 km/h (100mph).
At Newlands Cross, the car went through the red lights, and at the intersection of the Red Cow Roundabout, all four wheels of the car left the road. The car turned 360 degrees and kept on moving towards the city.
Finally at the Blackhorse Inn, in Inchicore, the car stopped and Gardai were able to arrest the defendant at 1am.
He was the only one in the car. Gardai suspected that he had been drinking, and have breathalysed him, a result of 62 micrograms of alcohol per 100 mililitres of breath was recorded.
Gardai learned that the car had been stolen earlier that day from a house at Fr. Murphy Place in Naas.
The court heard that, following further investigation, it is believed that the defendant at the time was homeless and that a resident of Fr. Murphy Place took him in earlier that day, where they sat drinking for some time.
The defendant had left the house with the keys of the man’s Yaris and €1,350 he had in the house.
As well as being charged with those thefts, and drink driving,.the chase led to four charges of dangerous driving, at Steelstown, Newlands Cross, the Red Cow Roundabout and on the Naas Road, Dublin 12.
The court heard that the defendant now lives with his cousin in Sandyford. He has had a difficult history with his parents whom he described as “alcoholics” and who live in a caravan between Naas and Dublin.
The young man left school prior to his Junior Cert and can neither read nor write. He told the court that he left school because his parents were “travelling”.
Representing him, Conal Boyce said that he could think of very little to say in relation to the events of the night.
His instructions from his client, he said, were that he wasn’t aware of the Garda’s blue lights behind him during the chase.
“There are some cases which attract an immediate sentence,” Judge Desmond Zaidan said. “This is one of them.
“I have a duty to protect the public,” he said adding that he had never heard of the four wheels of a car leaving the ground before.
“It’s actually madness.”
He initially refused to consider remanding the defendant to allow for the preparation of a probation report.
Garda O’Connell told the Judge that Jimmy Cash’s life had been “embedded in drink”.
“There was a time when I encountered him and he hadn’t showered or changed his clothes in two months. His life was only about the drink.,” he said emphasising how the defendant had changed.
Conal Boyce commented: “The man can’t write his name and it seems to me that we can do something for him, as a society.”
The defendant said that he was interested in a career in landscaping.
“As far as traffic offences go it’s on the upper end,” the Judge said.
“He has to understand the nature of his offences.”
He remanded Mr. Cash in custody for seven days until tomorrow, October 3, for a Probation Report.
“If you help yourself, I may help you along the way,” he told the defendant. “If not I’ll send you to prison for two years.”