A driver who backed into a Lake Garda patrol car, injuring two Gardai, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
aul Darcy (26) pleaded guilty to endangerment, dangerous driving and criminal damage on 7 September 2018 at Stockhole Lane, Santry, North Dublin.
Darcy, with addresses at St John’s Lane West, Thomas Street, Dublin and Calry Court, Stephen Street, Co Sligo, also pleaded guilty to triple burglary on 2 September 2018 at various locations in the Glasnevin area.
He also pleaded guilty to trespassing a car from a Palmerstown housing development on the night of October 11, 2018 and driving away at Palmerstown’s Applegreen Service Station on October 13, 2018 without paying for fuel.
Garda Ross Briary testified before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that two of his colleagues were on patrol when they spotted a white Ford Mondeo vehicle with three occupants acting suspiciously. Darcy was later identified as the driver of this vehicle.
The patrol car followed the vehicle and motioned for it to stop. The vehicle began to accelerate and Gardaí continued to follow. The vehicle was traveling at around 100 km/h over a flyover bridge on the M50.
Gardai continued to pursue the vehicle, which then spun and braked with full force. Gda Briary told Michael Hourigan BL, Prosecutor, that the Gardaí believe this was an unsuccessful attempt to have the patrol car collide with the vehicle.
Gardai then noticed the vehicle’s reversing lights were on, and it later began backing up at speed toward the patrol car. The vehicle crashed into the patrol car with force, which deployed the front airbags.
The Gardai tried to call for help, but the patrol car’s electronics had been damaged. The two Gardai were injured and trapped in the patrol car. They were treated in hospital and medical reports were presented to the court.
Gardai noticed movement in the back of the other vehicle, which had dug into the front of the patrol car.
When other Garda units arrived, all three occupants were in the back seat and initially attempted to evade arrest. The three did not provide any information during questioning and denied being the driver of the vehicle.
The patrol car suffered material damage of over 5,000 euros. Victims’ declarations were handed over to the court but not read out.
Darcy was out on bail in connection with three burglary charges at the time of this incident.
Keith Spencer BL, defending, said Darcy is a father to two young children and has left Dublin to live in Co. Sligo. His client comes from a large family and was under the bad influence of a family member at the time of the crime.
Darcy has also had undiagnosed mental health issues but is now being intensively treated for psychosis. Mr Spencer said his client was also drug free and had changed his life
Mr Spencer said Darcy apologized to the victims of his crimes. His client had a distorted view of the Gardaí at the time, but has come to appreciate their role.
Mr Spencer asked Judge Nolan to consider an adjournment so Darcy could spend time with his mother, who is in extremely poor health. He also requested an adjournment so Darcy could make a gesture of compensation for the damage done to the squad car.
Judge Nolan denied both motions, acknowledging the remorse and positive steps Darcy had taken, but saying these were serious crimes.
He said Darcy intentionally converted a vehicle into an occupied car and this “reflected badly” on him.
He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on the first count of burglary, four years’ imprisonment on the consecutive count of endangerment, and 18 months for tortious vehicle expropriation on a concurrent charge with all other counts.
Judge Nolan imposed a total of six years’ imprisonment, with the last 18 months suspended under strict conditions and with consideration for mitigation. He also disqualified Darcy from driving for six years.
A list of criminal records was handed to the court but not read out.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/four-year-prison-sentence-for-driver-who-reversed-at-speed-into-patrol-car-injuring-two-gardai-42046340.html Four years in prison for driver who speeded back into patrol car, injuring two Gardaí