Man arrested after attempt to flee checkpoint injures garda in court escape bid

A man arrested after fleeing from a checkpoint yesterday, at which it is alleged a vehicle was driven at a garda, attempted to run from court today as his bail was being refused.

James McCarney had been arrested on Tuesday when he fled a checkpoint operated by gardaí and customs officials near Cork City.

When Mr McCarney was refused bail he jumped from his seat and began running towards the door, before being quickly tackled by a number of gardaí.

It is understood one garda sustained facial injuries and attended hospital with a suspected fractured jaw.

Macroom District Court had earlier heard that a woman and children were in the car when McCarney was stopped yesterday with gardaí then alleging McCarney, of 2 Branziet Cottages, Balmore, Torrance in Glasgow, drove his a vehicle at a Garda Emma Corkery.

A checkpoint during Thor day of action in West Cork yesterday with members of the Gardai, Customs, RSA, Revenue and Social Protection. Picture Dan Linehan

Sgt Brian Harte, prosecuting, had applied for Mr McCarney to be remanded in custody and said he was “strongly objecting” to bail. He said this was on the basis that gardaí were trying to verify via Interpol the Glasgow address given by Mr McCarney, who he also claimed was a possible flight risk if released on bail.

Sgt Harte also said he was objecting to bail due to the seriousness of the charge, stating: “The incident was one that, on a different occasion, could have resulted in serious injury or loss of life.”

He told the court that on February 6 last at Tooreen, Ballinhassig, members of the gardaí were conducting a checkpoint when a Mercedes Benz E220, driven by Mr McCarney, approached.

Customs officers manning the checkpoint with gardaí asked for a certificate of insurance or exemption, which the driver did not have.

At 11.55pm customs officers then informed Mr McCarney that his vehicle would be seized for revenue reasons.

“He started the vehicle and drove the vehicle at Garda Corkery,” Sgt Harte said. He claimed the vehicle swerved towards the ditch and that Mr McCarney continued to drive away at speed towards the Halfway roundabout.

He was followed by patrol vehicles using sirens and lights but, the court was told, Mr McCarney refused to stop and drove for “a considerable distance” before finally pulling in near the Rising Sun bar, at which point he was arrested for dangerous driving.

Mr McCarney’s solicitor, Sean Cahill, said his client would be denying this version of events. He said his client admitted he was trying to avoid detection and was concerned that because it was an English reg car it would be seized.

Mr Cahill also said Mr McCarney believes he did have adequate insurance cover, had been over and back to Ireland for 18 years and had a permanent address in West Cork.

Sgt Harte said the incident was “extremely serious” and said Garda Corkery had been standing in front of the car when it started to drive off, although Mr McCarney said he “drove around” Garda Corkery.

Judge Mary Dorgan refused bail and was remanding Mr McCarney in custody to appear in Bandon court tomorrow when he jumped from his seat and began running towards the door, before he was quickly tackled by a number of gardaí. It is understood one garda sustained facial injuries and attended hospital.

KEYWORDS: Court

 

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