Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Irish driver who posted reckless antics on YouTube is jailed

His crazy driving antics -- captured on an internet video -- have been watched by more than 26,000 people. But Aaron Stanley had the brakes applied to his reckless driving when he was sentenced to four months in jail.

Stanley (22), from Annbrook Heights, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was tracked down by gardai after he appeared on YouTube recklessly driving around east Clare in a 1993 Limerick-registered Toyota Starlet last year.

The joyriding episode, which was filmed on July 14, 2010, was brought to the attention of the gardai by people who became alarmed after viewing it.

Just two days before the incident took place, eight young men were killed in a two-car collision in the Inishowen peninsula, Co Donegal.

All the participants in the joyriding, including Stanley, are identifiable and no effort was made to hide the registration plates of two of the three vehicles involved.

Stanley is the only person to appear before the courts following the incident.

Stanley was at Killaloe District Court -- sitting in Ennis -- on Tuesday after he was charged with dangerous driving in Ogonnelloe, Co Clare, on the day the recording was made.

Nenagh solicitor Tony O'Malley said that as a consequence of the incident and the publicity it received last year, the defendant received a number of death threats and he had to go into hiding for a period of time.

He said the public mood at the time was very strong following the fatalities in Donegal.

Some of the incidents recorded in the video occurred while the three vehicles approached a school crossing.

At one stage, the front-seat passenger and Stanley stick their feet out of the front windows as they travel behind another car while oncoming traffic drives by them.

The video has been viewed on the internet more than 26,000 times.

The three vehicles are featured driving along the Killaloe to Ogonnelloe road in east Clare and also at Two Mile Gate alongside Lough Derg. It is understood that all those who appear in the video are from the Nenagh area.

Mr O'Malley said Stanley was a young man who had a fixation with vehicles and that the events started out as a high spirits caper. He said his client began playing to the camera, but recognised completely that his actions were reckless and dangerous.

On behalf of his client, Mr O'Malley apologised to the court for his actions.

Stanley has a string of previous convictions and received a three-month sentence last month for theft and unauthorised taking of a vehicle.

Judge Aeneas McCarthy sentenced him to four months imprisonment and disqualified him for driving for the next decade.

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