Man with 472 criminal convictions jailed at Derry court

A 39-year-old man, whose solicitor claimed has the biggest criminal record in British and Irish judicial history, has been jailed.

Eamon Lynch, 39, from Wesley Street in Derry admitted a series of road traffic offences in the city in 2010.

The father-of-eight's criminal record now stands at 472 convictions, including almost 300 driving offences.

At Londonderry Crown Court, Lynch was given a 28-month prison sentence, half of which he will serve in custody.

He also has previous multiple convictions for burglary, assault, forgery and drugs offences.

Judge Piers Grant said Lynch's record was "appalling" and contained the most significant number of convictions ever to come before him.

On Wednesday, the court was told Lynch was seen driving a car that struck two parked cars, two years ago. The owner of one of the cars recognised him. Lynch ran off and was later seen walking across Craigavon Bridge by the police.

Absconded

As they approached him, he threw a set of keys into the River Foyle.

He was arrested and when breathalysed was found to be more than twice the legal limit. At the time he had been disqualified from driving until 2023.

The court was told Lynch absconded from Northern Ireland to live in Donegal last year where he committed seven further road traffic offences.

Judge Grant imposed a 28-month jail sentence and told Lynch he would serve 14 months in custody and would be on licence for the other 14 months.