THREE children at a pedestrian crossing on Sarsfield’s Road in Cork had to jump out of the way as a teenager drove a car at high speed through the area and a woman walking a dog also had to jump into a ditch to avoid being struck in the dangerous driving escapade.
Garda Ruairí McGovern gave evidence in the case at Cork Circuit Criminal Court during the sentencing hearing for Aivaras Miezetis of The Meadows, Knocknaheeny, Cork. Judge Helen Boyle imposed a jail term of 18 months on the teenager which she suspended on condition that he would keep the peace and comply with the directions of the probation service for the next two years.
The judge also banned the 18-year-old from driving for a period of four years.
Garda McGovern said that in the course of the dangerous driving escapade on the afternoon of March 25, 2020 the teenager drove through a pedestrian cross at high speed at Sarsfield’s Road near the funeral home forcing three children to take evasive action.
Soon afterward the woman walking her dog had to jump into a ditch to avoid being struck at Lehenaghmore. Garda cars from a number of units in the Cork area tried to curb the dangerous driving but the teenager’s Audi A4 collided with two of the cars.
He pleaded guilty to multiple charges including two counts of causing criminal damage to patrol cars and three of dangerous driving.
Garda McGovern and his colleague Garda Patrick O’Sullivan were on duty in the Frankfield area that afternoon when they witnessed the dangerous driving. They indicated with blue lights on their car for him to stop but he failed to comply and drove away at speed.
He drove through a number of junctions against red lights and on to the incorrect side of the road in the course of the dangerous escapade.
At one stage on Grange Road he was seen weaving in and out of busy afternoon traffic.
“The manner of his driving was chaotic and speed was a big factor as well,” Garda McGovern said.
There was also dangerous driving at a major junction on the Kinsale Road near The Bull McCabe’s pub in heavy traffic.
The whole thing did not come to an end until the Audi collided with a Bus Eireann bus in which there were a number of passengers.
Defence barrister Dermot Sheehan said, “He accepted responsibility. He said he panicked and he was apologetic. He acknowledged someone could have been seriously injured or killed.
“He has no previous convictions. He was living in Douglas but his family have now gone to the north side of the city. He has a supportive family background.”
Judge Helen Boyle said aggravating factors included the fact that the teenager ignored gardaí and created a danger for the citizens of Cork.
“You are lucky you are not before the court for much more serious charges.
The judge said that detention of a teenager was a last resort and that the court had to have regard to rehabilitation of the accused.
“Considering all of the mitigating factors I am of the view that you should be placed in charge of your own destiny,” Judge Boyle said in imposing the suspended sentence.