Addict jailed for 'joyriding' at 60mph
A west Belfast man who took his father's 4x4 for a 60mph ‘joyride' along the Stewartstown Road has been jailed for two years.
However, despite Belfast Crown Court Judge Patrick Lynch QC passing a ‘time served' sentence on Brendan McKernan (26), the man was still jailed for four months because he breached a suspended sentence for a similar offence.
He told McKernan that suspended sentences have to “mean something” and in banning him from driving for five years, warned him that “if you continue with this lifestyle of yours, you can expect to spend increasingly large parts of your life in prison”.
Earlier the judge heard that police tried to stop the Volkswagen Touran at around 2am on October 9 last year when they saw it swerve across the central divide.
Prosecution lawyer Stephen McCourt said the vehicle “accelerated off at speed”, took a blind corner on the wrong side of the road and mounted a pavement on the Bellsteele Road.
Investigations revealed that McKernan's father owned it but he said that his son “didn't have permission to take the car”.
Arrested and interviewed McKernan, from Laurellbank in Poleglass, pleaded guilty to offences of aggravated vehicle theft, dangerous driving, criminal damage and driving whilst unfit.
Defence lawyer Conor O'Kane said most of McKernan's problems stemmed from his addiction to Diazepam which caused him to take unnecessary risks.
Ordering that McKernan undertake treatment for addiction during his 18-month supervised licence period, Judge Lynch told him he was “in obviously no fit condition to be behind the wheel of a car” that night.