Joseph Rafferty of Russell Square in Tallaght told Gardaí he was off his head on drugs

A man who hijacked a number of cars at gunpoint during an eight-hour rampage through Dublin last October has been jailed for nine years.

Joseph Rafferty of Russell Square in Tallaght was armed with a machine gun and told Gardaí he was off his head on drugs at the time.

Joseph Rafferty’s rampage began at Brookview Lawns in Tallaght at 6.20am on the morning of October 25th last year.

Fuelled by cocaine, he became paranoid his girlfriend was cheating on him and he took an Audi from outside her house – the first of six cars he stole.

When the owner of a house in the Watergate area of Tallaght answered his doorbell half an hour later, Rafferty hit him with a machine gun he was carrying and demanded the keys to his car.

He later stole a blue Subaru from a car showroom after again demanding the keys from a salesman at gunpoint.

Fifty Gardaí were involved in his pursuit and he was eventually arrested after ditching a stolen Mercedes and running through CityWest Shopping Centre.

Judge Martin Nolan described what he did as “an incredible litany of frightening crimes, and he refused to accept his drug use as an excuse.”

Before jailing him for nine years, he said hardened criminals could go their entire careers without committing as many crimes as he did that day.