Joyrider handed eight-year sentence
A so-called joyrider who seriously injured three women in a head-on car crash has been handed an eight-year prison sentence and 15-year driving ban.
Jailing Gavin Rooney, Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom Burgess said it was only a matter of the “greatest fortune” that no-one had been killed in the October 2010 car smash.
The judge ordered him to serve an extra five years on licence.
Prosecuting lawyer Kate McKay told the court that just before 12pm on October 28, a passing police patrol noticed that Rooney “ducked down” in the driver’s seat in an attempt to hide, so they signalled for the car to stop at the Springbank Industrial Estate.
A chase ensued during which Rooney overtook cars on the wrong side of the road, swerved from side to side and crossed central reservations — forcing oncoming traffic to take evasive action.
The chase came to an end when Rooney, who turns 29 on Sunday, ploughed head-on into a black taxi with seven passengers on board, injuring everyone inside, three of them seriously.