Man jailed after ordering car used in garda injury to be cleaned of fingerprints

At a hearing in July 2018, Garda Gallagher read from his victim impact statement in which he said he expected to die that day
Man jailed after ordering car used in garda injury to be cleaned of fingerprints

Sonya McLean

A man who told a woman to clean a car of her fingerprints after she had just driven the vehicle while a garda was holding onto it has been jailed.

Trevor Robinson (31) was in the car with Christina Joyce (33), when she accelerated away as Garda Thomas Gallagher was attempting to seize her vehicle.

At Ms Joyce’s sentence hearing in July 2018, Garda Gallagher read from his victim impact statement in which he said he expected to die that day.

The garda said he felt he had to hold onto the door of the Volvo car to stop himself being pulled under the vehicle.

He told Judge Martin Nolan: “There was nothing I could do. If I let go (of the driver's door) I would be dragged under the car. I had nowhere to go. I accepted at that stage I was dead. The speed we were going I thought there was no way I wouldn't be killed.”

Garda Gallagher, who had been working as a garda for 14 years at that time, said he noticed that Ms Joyce seemed to be driving her vehicle in the direction of a parked car across the road, so he felt he had to let go of the door. He fell to the ground and skidded into the parked car.

He said at that point, he was convinced that “everything below my knee was gone, that it was shattered. I consider myself extremely lucky that I am alive and able to walk.”

Injury

Garda Gallagher, who was taken to hospital by ambulance, dislocated his knee and had to remain in a brace for eight weeks. He also badly injured his shoulder and had been told he cannot return to playing sports for about two years.

Ms Joyce, a mother of three of no fixed abode, was sent forward from the District Court to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty.

She admitted endangering Garda Gallagher and assaulting him causing him harm on April 9th, 2018.

Judge Martin Nolan jailed Ms Joyce for four and half years in 2018 after commenting that Garda Gallagher had “no option but to grab the driver's door to stop being run over”. He said Ms Joyce was “intent on getting rid of him”.

Attempt to evade apprehension

Mr Robinson, of Cherry Orchard Parade, Ballyfermot pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assisting an offender after an offence, criminal damage and two charges of burglary on April 9th, 2018.

He has a number of previous convictions both in Ireland and the UK, but his Irish convictions are mostly for minor offences.

On Wednesday, Judge Melanie Greally said it was clear that Mr Robinson committed the burglaries “in a frantic attempt to evade apprehension” from pursuing gardaí and accepted he would not have broken into the houses otherwise.

She acknowledged that he had a supportive partner and had engaged with the Probation Service who recommended a period of supervision to assist Robinson in dealing with his drug addiction.

Judge Greally sentenced Mr Robinson to a cumulative term of three years in prison and suspended the final 12 months in full on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service for 12 months upon his ultimate release from custody.

Sergeant Ronan Waldron told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that an eyewitness, who later saw Ms Joyce crash the Volvo into a rubbish truck, heard Mr Robinson shout at Ms Joyce “to wipe it down” as they were running away from the vehicle.

The court heard that Ms Joyce and Mr Robinson broke into the home of a 77-year-old woman after Ms Joyce crashed into the bin truck having driven away from the earlier incident.

The pair had broken into the house in a bid to escape gardaí and Mr Robinson had to kick down the woman’s back door so that they continue to get away. They broke into a second nearby apartment where gardaí found them and arrested them.

There was €1,622 worth of damage caused to the wall of a building Ms Joyce had earlier crashed into and €1,200 worth of damage was caused to a parked car she and Mr Robinson had jumped on top of to scale a wall.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more