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Dublin man jailed after being stopped in stolen car in Belfast

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Police spotted the vehicle being driven erratically on the M1 near Sprucefield.

Police spotted the vehicle being driven erratically on the M1 near Sprucefield.

Police spotted the vehicle being driven erratically on the M1 near Sprucefield.

A Dublin man pursued in Belfast in a stolen car he planned to drive "until it ran out of fuel" has been jailed for eight months.

Brian Mooney was stopped in a Suzuki SX4 taken across the border as it approached Belfast, a court heard.

The 26-year-old was convicted of handling property stolen in the Republic of Ireland and related motoring offences.

Prosecutors told Belfast Magistrates' Court the Suzuki had been stolen in Dublin before heading north on December 12 last year.

Police spotted the vehicle being driven erratically on the M1 near Sprucefield, travelling at speed and changing lanes at the last minute.

Following a pursuit the car was stopped on an off-slip for the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The driver was spoken to and showed signs of intoxication, according to a Crown lawyer.

He said Mooney, of White Church in Dublin, was unable to account for his driving during interviews.

The lawyer added: "He could not say what he intended to do with the car, but he said he would have driven it until it ran out of fuel."

Defence solicitor Una Conway confirmed her client accepted the offences.

Ms Conway said he had been homeless for a period due to a dispute with relatives, but hoped to return to the family home in Dublin following his release.

Jailing Mooney for eight months, District Judge Amanda Henderson said: "This is a serious matter, very much at the upper end of the scale."

She also disqualified the defendant from driving for 18 months, and ordered him to re-sit his test before getting behind the wheel again.

Belfast Telegraph