Man who led gardaí on high-speed chase through Naas town jailed for year

Naas man faced eight counts of dangerous driving

Leinster Leader Reporter

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Kildare judge says man's behaviour has "custody written all over it"

The case was heard at Naas District Court yesterday

A Naas man has been jailed for a year after he pleaded guilty to eight charges of dangerous driving and one of drink driving.

Luke Conroy, 25, of 255 Sunday’s Well, Naas lead Gardai on a chase of Naas town that started at the Blessington Road, and continued down Friary Road, before turning left and proceeding up the Main Street, up past the Fairgreen and eventually to the ring road in early hours of March 24, 2018.

Speeds of up to 100kph were reached, and, Naas District Court was told yesterday, March 20, the defendant drove erratically and frequently on the wrong side of the road during the incident.  He also went through traffic lights.

When he eventually stopped he was taken to the Garda Station where a blood test revealed a concentration of 127 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Representing him, Timmy Kennelly said that his client had left school at the age of 16 when he was in second year in school, unable to read or write, although he is now taking steps to remedy this.

“When he was caught he decided to go into custody,” Mr Kennelly said, adding that his client had a difficulty with drink and drugs.

Judge Desmond Zaidan asked the defendant why he started to take drugs and Mr Conroy replied that it was to “block out his problems”.

Mr Kennelly outlined the steps taken to improve his life, including a successful stint in Cuain Mhuire and an interest in getting into woodwork to become either a carpenter or joiner.

He said that his client had managed to turn a corner.

The defendant’s grandmother was in court to support her grandson and gave evidence that while he was using drugs she didn’t want anything to do with him but that she had noticed a significant difference in him in more recent times. She told the court that he had had a diagnosis of deficiencies in his cognitive ability.

“His recovery is something he wants to do himself,” she explained. She is now supporting him but “our rules are quite strict”, including a curfew.

Mr Kennelly said that he was concerned that if his client was sent to jail it might “derail” him.

“He’s going to prison,” Judge Zaidan responded. “This has custody  written all over it!” In his summing up of the case, the judge remarked that “not enough is being done to educate our young people about the effects of using drugs”.

Timmy Kennelly told the court once again that his client had “turned a corner”.

“I sincerely hope you’re right. I’m not as optimistic,” he said. He sentenced the defendant to two-six periods in detention, adding that if it wasn’t for the evidence of his grandmother he would have imposed a two year sentence.

Mr Conroy was also disqualified from driving for six years