Gardaí had to stop pursuit of motorist to protect the public

Dundalk District Court

Gardaí had to stop pursuit of motorist to protect the public
By Court Reporter editor@dundalkdemocrat.ie @dundalkdemocrat.ie

Gardaí including members of the armed support unit, had to stop the pursuit of a motorist who had failed to stop at a Garda checkpoint - forcing a guard to jump out of the way, to avoid being hit, Dundalk district court was told last week.

Thomas Traynor (44) with an address at Oriel Cove, Clogherhead was before the court on four counts of dangerous driving arising out of the incident on January 18th last year.

The Defence solicitor told the court last Wednesday that his client was offering a guilty plea to careless driving but Insp. Yvonne Murphy said that Judge Flann Brennan had refused to accept that previously and the DPP had directed charges of dangerous driving.

She added that a garda had to take evasive action, as he would otherwise have been knocked down and seriously injured.

The solicitor said his client had become alarmed at the presence of a checkpoint and explained "He might be more prone to alarm than other people" and said there were internal and external reasons for that.

Judge Coughlan suggested that they reach an agreement that he doesn't drive until he is well again saying "you can't have him driving erratically".

However, Insp. Murphy stressed that gardai had to stop the pursuit as they were putting themselves and members of the public at risk, in what she described as a "horrendous case of dangerous driving".

Judge Coughlan said it wasn't like the accused was a young man who "gets into a stolen car and for a bit of craic goes across County Louth".

He suggested a three year ban, when the case was recalled, but Insp. Murphy said she'd prefer eight years.

The judge imposed a two year disqualification for the first offence, four years for the second, six for the third and an eight year ban for the fourth incident of dangerous driving.

He said the accused could appeal in his own bond of 100 euro, but added "I don't think it's safe for you driving at the moment the way you feel - so get better".