A YOUNG man who sped through two red traffic lights in a stolen car while under the influence of cannabis asked a guard why he blocked him in and said that they could have had a chase.
Matthew Ginnifer, aged 25, of St Vincent’s hostel, Anglesea Terrace, Cork, who also has a Charleville address, pleaded guilty to several charges arising out of the incident today.
Judge Olann Kelleher banned him from driving for 12 years today and also imposed a six-month jail term.
Garda Bryan Flynn testified that the incident occurred on December 26, 2019, in the area of the North Link Road and Commons Road in Cork.
Ginnifer was driving in a Toyota Corolla at the time and was travelling at speed at a time when there were pedestrians in the area.
Garda Flynn turned the patrol car around and followed the defendant.
He caught up with the car which was stopped at a third set of traffic lights.
The guard drove the patrol car to block the defendant into the space in which he was stopped in traffic.
His speech was slurred and his pupils dilated and it later turned out that it was a stolen car and that Ginnifer was drug driving, having consumed cannabis.
Garda Flynn testified that Ginnifer asked, “Why did you block me in, I would have taken a chase.”
The accused was arrested after 6.30pm that day and charged.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the accused had 115 previous convictions including two for driving while disqualified and four for having no insurance.
Ginnifer pleaded guilty to charges including having no insurance, dangerous driving, drug-driving and driving while disqualified.
Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said these charges were brought after the accused had already pleaded guilty to charges including driving while disqualified.
Judge Kelleher took account of the submission that the accused had already pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing a car and had been sentenced for that – a sentence he was presently serving.
The judge then imposed an overall sentence of six months, backdated to February 1 so that it will run concurrently with the term already being served.
Mr Buttimer said the accused was doing well in prison and that between the six months imposed on him for stealing the Toyota, and other charges, the defendant was due for release – with remission – in August.