Man who drove on to footpath into garda car jailed

A disqualified driver who twice drove a car onto a crowded footpath and then crashed into a garda patrol vehicle to avoid arrest has been jailed for four years by Judge Patricia Ryan.

Joseph Mahoney (aged 25) of Coultry Road, Ballymun, was also sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for possession for sale or supply of €10,250 worth of drugs that were later found in his car.

He pleaded guilty to possession of three nine ounce bars of cannabis resin and 20 boxes of flurazepam for sale or supply, possession of four bottles of methadone and reckless endangerment at Shangan Green, Ballymun, on April 6, 2007.

Judge Ryan took into account his 40 previous convictions, which included a recent six-year sentence for robbery that was imposed at Trim Circuit Criminal Court.

She said she had also taken into consideration evidence that Mahoney had made attempts to turn his life around and the fact that he has not come to garda attention since the offence.

Garda Jarleth Burke told Mr Shane Costelloe BL, prosecuting, that when he saw Mahoney driving a Nissan Almerahe asked him to stop the vehicle because he was aware that the accused had been disqualified from driving.

Mahoney did not stop the vehicle and drove away at speed out of the sight of the gardaí. They spotted him minutes later when the accused mounted a footpath to avoid them.

He drove off at speed, took a turn without indicating, veered onto the wrong side of the road and failed to stop at a stop sign before gardaí again lost sight of him despite their efforts to pursue him.

Gda Burke said they followed in the same general direction and again saw Mahoney approaching them. There were cars parked on either side of the street leaving the accused with no means of escape.

Gda Burke said that he believed that Mahoney had time to stop the car but did not and instead crashed into the patrol vehicle, before he mounted the footpath a second time and came to a stop outside a nearby house. He was arrested minutes later despite his efforts to flee the scene.

Gda Burke agreed with defence counsel Mr Sean Gillane BL that Mahoney later accepted in garda interview that he had put people in danger and he said he was sorry for what he had done.

He accepted that Mahoney had since turned his life around and had not come to garda attention since his arrest.

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