A six-year jail term was imposed on a young man who fired shots at gardaí from his speeding car from what looked like a real handgun and also stood in a stylised shooting stance to fire shots.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed an eight-year sentence on 22-year-old Tommy Mannah and suspended the last two years.
“This is a significant and serious case. For a prolonged period of time there was a number of separate incidents of brandishing and discharging an imitation firearm at his former girlfriend and the guards at different locations.
“Gardaí properly believed the firearms were real, and risks to life and limb were there with the movements of the accused and the manner in which he stanced himself, discharging it on Military Hill and again at Watergrasshill.
“It is quite alarming to think he was through the north side of Cork city with an imitation firearm pointing it out the window of the car and discharging it at gardaí.
“He continued with this aggressive stylised brandishing of the gun and no requirement by the gardaí had any effect on him,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
The judge said it was of great concern that the accused showed no empathy to others and instead regarded himself as a victim.
Detective Sergeant O’Sullivan said that shots were discharged by the Cork city armed support unit and that it was only the second time this had ever occurred, the previous occasion being in May 2010.
Defence senior counsel Siobhán Lankford said the accused had been taking anti-psychotic medication as well as cannabis and whiskey on the night.
Detective Sergeant O’Sullivan said that gardaí believed the handgun was real throughout the incident and that an expert who examined it said it would not have been possible for someone to know it was a gun capable only of firing pellets.
Tommy Mannah pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Old Youghal Rd and use of an imitation firearm at the M8 motorway.
It all started with the discharge of shots at a house on Military Hill where he was living at the time.
Sergeant Colin Greenway was one of many officers who responded to the initial call and he was talking to two women who witnessed it when Mannah appeared and aimed the pellet gun at Sgt Greenway.
The sergeant was previously an armed officer for ten years and with his experience he believed that the gun was real. Sgt Greenway was unarmed and told Mannah to drop his weapon. Mannah ignored him and shot a pellet into his arm. Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the actions of Sgt Greenway on the occasion were exemplary.
Det Sgt O’Sullivan said gardaí received a call at 11.30pm on Friday night, July 3 about a man breaking into a car and being in possession of a firearm.
“Gardaí attended at the scene. Tommy Mannah returned with an alleged handgun which he discharged in the direction of gardaí hitting (Sgt Greenway) in the arm. He then got into the car and drove from the scene.
“He was signalled to stop and he failed. He discharged shots out the window of the car. He crashed through a barrier at the toll plaza.
“A stinger (device to puncture and disable a car) was placed on the motorway. Armed support unit members approached and identified themselves as armed gardaí. He discharged shots at the armed gardaí. (They returned live shots which did not strike the defendant).
“A Tazer was discharged and he was successfully arrested. This was observed by a number of witnesses from gardaí at Military Road to the M8 motorway. Gardaí never lost sight of him during this,” Det Sgt O’Sullivan said.