Gardaí had to pull in to the side of a junction from a car speeding in their direction at around midnight in Knocknaheeny, Cork, and the sentencing judge said “this could have led to death or serious injury”.
Shane Harris of 29 Mount Eden Rise, Gurranabraher, who had no previous convictions, denied being the driver of the car but Judge Con O’Leary found that Harris was the driver on the occasion and convicted him on the charge of dangerous driving.
Garda Brian Holland gave evidence of approaching the junction of Harbour View Rd and Courtown Drive at around midnight on June 8, 2019, as he and his colleagues were coming back from Blarney.
Garda Holland testified that as they approached the junction they saw a car driving at speed in their direction. Garda Holland drove the patrol car into the side of the road as tightly as he could to avoid being hit by the oncoming car.
He said the oncoming car then swerved, hit a fence, and became airborne before crashing to a halt against a traffic light.
Garda Holland said the defendant left the car via the driver’s door and ran into a housing estate.
Defence barrister Emmet Boyle argued that there was insufficient evidence on which the defendant could be convicted on a charge related to driving, given that it was a three-door car and someone could have emerged from the back seat and exited by the driver’s door.
Judge O’Leary said that, given that the patrol car was stopped when the other car was coming at it, he could conclude that the gardaí were giving their undivided attention to the car so he could rely on the Garda evidence and convict Harris.
The defendant did not go into evidence.
The judge imposed a sentence of four months which he suspended on the charge of dangerous driving.