A 20-year-old motorist who was banned from driving crashed through the security gates on the drive up to a house to get away from gardaí, and soon afterwards drove away, endangering the lives of two gardaí by driving directly at their patrol car.
Now at Cork Circuit Criminal Court Judge Helen Boyle has sentenced Christian Morey of 135 Ardcullen, Hollyhill, Cork, to 18 months in prison.
Garda Brian White described the incident at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Gardaí became aware that the disqualified driver was driving on the afternoon in question.
As they approached him in the Ballinhassig area, Morey took off, crashing through the electronically controlled gates on the drive up to a house.
Morey later turned in the property and drove directly at the Garda car forcing the driver to take evasive action.
Ultimately, Morey pleaded guilty to charges that included endangerment.
Defence barrister, Emmet Boyle, submitted that the accused engaged in a drug awareness programme in prison since the incident occurred.
Judge Helen Boyle imposed a sentence of two years on Morey with the last six months suspended.
The most serious charge to which he pleaded guilty was one of endangerment on August 5, 2021 at Upper Adamstown, Ballinhassig, County Cork, where he drove a car directly at a marked patrol car containing uniformed gardaí, Garda Brian White and Garda Danielle Porter.
Morey also admitted causing criminal damage to electric gates to a value of almost €8,000 on a house in that area.
In relation to another date he admitted dangerous driving on July 23, 2021, at Old Commons Road, Cork, and another count of dangerous driving the junction of Cathedral Road, Shandon Street and Gerald Griffin Street.
Emmet Boyle, defence barrister, said the offences were committed when the accused was 19 years old and that when charged he replied, “I am sorry. I was trying to get away.”
Mr Boyle said of Morey, “He had various educational difficulties in his formative years. He was a very [early] school leave and was in childhood mental health services. He is native of the northside of Cork.
“He is in a relationship romantically. He is working in roofing and generally in the construction industry. He has self-admitted drug usage. I would ask you to take into consideration his admissions and his age at the time of the offences.”
Judge Boyle said she had to take into consideration the gravity of the offences and the accused’s culpability. “Aggravating factors include the danger you posed to the citizens of Cork, driving through red lights — at one stage — causing a mother to fear for the safety of children.
“You drove the car at gardaí and you must known it was a garda car. You caused significant damage to the electric gates you drove through.
“A mitigating factor is your plea of guilty in early course. That is of value. Even though you were identified on CCTV, a plea is always of value.
“You were only 19 at the time. You left school early and you attended at child and adolescent mental health services. You have a reasonably good work history.
“You were actively using cocaine at the time. Impulsive behaviour puts you at high risk of reoffending (despite good family support),” Judge Boyle said.