Escaped prisoner led gardai on a high-speed motorbike chase
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Escaped prisoner led gardai on a high-speed motorbike chase

An escaped prisoner ,who led gardaí on a high-speed chase through Dublin suburbs, narrowly missing a pedestrian and other motorists, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison, Sonya Mclean.

John Mangan (54) had escaped from Loughlan House open prison in October 2021 and was caught riding a motorbike around Park West Industrial Estate, Dublin 12, at around 3pm one November afternoon a number of weeks later.

Mangan has previous convictions for conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of drugs and guns and was due for release from prison in March 2024.

He was handed down a 14-year jail term in May 2008 after he was caught with a loaded handgun in the toilet of a pub. He was on bail for possession of cannabis resin valued at €341,787 at that time.

Mangan had pleaded guilty to possession of the cannabis resin for sale or supply on February 4, 2006 in Drumcondra and possession of a firearm in the Comet Pub, Santry on August 24, 2007.

Garda Gary Farrell told Jennifer Jackson BL, prosecuting on Tuesday that Mangan ignored the garda instruction to stop the vehicle which led to a high-speed pursuit that lasted about 20 minutes.

It came to an end after gardaí, using the assistance of the air support unit, set up a road block on Carpenterstown Road, in Castleknock.

Garda Farrell confirmed that during the chase Mangan drove through a number of red lights, overtook and undertook vehicles into oncoming traffic, drove around a roundabout the wrong way, drove onto a footpath narrowly missing a pedestrian and drove into oncoming traffic during which he nearly collided with a number of different vehicles.

Mangan, of Larkhill Road, Whitehall, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of endangerment, dangerous driving and driving without insurance around the Lucan and Castleknock area of Dublin on November 9, 2021.

He was serving his prison term in Loughlan House when he escaped. His defence counsel, Kieran Kelly BL, defending submitted that it was during lockdown and Mangan was anxious to visit his partner after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Kelly said his client’s sentence was due to expire in 2024 and he has yet to be charged with escaping lawful custody. This case is expected to be brought before the District Court.

Counsel said his client apologises for his driving and regrets his role. He submitted that when Mangan first sped off it was because he was in fear but “he continued the chase when he should not have,” Mr Kelly said.

Mangan has five grandchildren and is now clean of both drink and drugs, counsel submitted.

He described him as a reformed man who is currently serving his time in Portlaoise prison.

Judge Martin Nolan said that while Mangan was at large from an open prison he took part in serious dangerous driving that could have led to “a catastrophic collision which could have caused death or serious injury”.

He referred to the fact that he viewed three minutes of CCTV footage.

“He was undoubtedly driving this bike at great speed and he seems to be able to manage this bike at great speed,” Judge Nolan said.

“He has to serve another punishment for driving the way he did,” the judge continued before he sentenced him to 15 months which he said must be served consecutively to his current term. He further disqualified Mangan from driving for two years.