A Northern Ireland man who has accumulated the biggest criminal record in British or Irish legal history has been jailed for 28 months.
Eamon Lynch (39) from Londonderry had been on the run from police since breaking bail two years ago.
His picture was released by the PSNI last year as one of a number of high-profile and prolific offenders they were hunting.
Lynch, whose address was given as Wesley Street in Derry — but who had been living in Letterkenny since absconding from Northern Ireland while on bail in October 2010 — pleaded guilty to committing seven road traffic offences in the Foyle Road area of the city in May 2010.
He came before Judge Piers Grant at the city’s Crown Court with 465 previous convictions, 276 of them for road traffic offences, of which 114 were for driving while disqualified.
Legal sources said this was believed to be the greatest numerical record of offending known in the history of both islands. It works out at an average of more than 20 offences for every year of his adult life.
One legal expert said his prolific record would “never, ever, ever be equalled” because of a change in the law several years ago, making driving while disqualified an indictable offence.
Lynch, a father-of-eight children from four different relationships, also has multiple previous convictions for burglaries, forgery and drugs offences.
After he fled across the border into Co Donegal two years ago he committed a further seven offences in the Republic.
Lynch was stopped on the Craigavon Bridge in Derry on May 8, 2010 after he'd been recognised as having earlier been involved in two hit-and-run incidents at Foyle Park. After his arrest, he admitted driving while disqualified, drink-driving, failing to remain at the scene of and accident and failing to report an accident, obstructing and resisting a police officer and driving without insurance.
Judge Grant said Lynch, who had already been disqualified from driving until 2023, had engaged in a lifetime of criminal offending.
“Your record is simply appalling and it contains the most significant number of convictions ever to come before me,” he said.
“You simply do not care anything for the law,” he told Lynch.
Lynch will serve half of the 28-month jail sentence in custody and half on licence.