A woman crossing the road with a nine-month-old child in a buggy had to take evasive action when a car was driven at speed through a red light after first driving through a garda checkpoint in the Douglas area of Cork.
Daniel O’Brien of 70 Bracken Court, Donnybrook, Douglas, Cork, is now commencing a four-year jail term for two counts of endangerment where he created a substantial risk of death or serious injury to the garda at the checkpoint and to the mother and child crossing the road.
Garda Ryan Dillon described how he was carrying out a checkpoint on South Douglas Road at 4pm on the afternoon of February 6 2019 when he saw a black BMW approach.
“I observed Daniel O’Brien, 28, driving the car. It slowed but it never stopped and then it swerved at speed in my direction causing me to take evasive action. I jumped out of the way. The wing mirror clipped my hand.
“It continued on towards the city at speed and overtook a vehicle at traffic lights which were red. He nearly collided with a female trying to cross the road and forced her to pull her buggy (with a child inside) back on to the time. The light was red (against O’Brien) at the time,” Garda Dillon said.
Later when interviewed at Togher garda station he did not co-operate.
The woman crossing the road at the time did not make a victim impact statement but told Garda Dillion the incident was shocking for her and she was glad when she heard he was pleading guilty.
Asked about the earlier endangerment charge where he was concerned, Garda Dillon said that it was out of fear for his life at the time that prompted him move out of the way.
At the time of the two endangerment incidents O’Brien had been disqualified from driving for eight years.
Paula McCarthy defence barrister said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Daniel O’Brien expressed his remorse for his actions and was engaging with support services in prison, as well as attending school and the gym.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “There was an element of deliberateness about the driving. He knew he was recognised by the guard and drove deliberately at him. He then drove through a red light where there was actual endangerment. She had to suddenly take back the buggy.”
The judge said there a high level of recklessness and disregard for the safety of others and he was ignoring a disqualification from driving at the time.
Judge Ó Donnabháin jailed O’Brien for four years and disqualified him from driving for 12 years.
Last month the same man was jailed for 18 months for slashing a young man across the face as the victim was in the course of repaying a small drug debt to O’Brien. The defendant sat into the victim’s car beside him and suddenly slashed across the face just under his eye with an unidentified sharp object in the car park of Carrigaline community complex.