A convicted sex offender assaulted a garda after stealing a delivery driver's car and leading gardaí on a high speed chase, a court has heard.
At around 9pm on December 18th, 2021, a pizza delivery man had stopped his Mini Cooper on the South Circular road in Dublin to make a delivery. The driver dropped his keys and three men grabbed them and drove off in his car.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard one of these men was Jason Paget (35), of John Field Road, Dublin 8, who has previous convictions for aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual assault.
Another one of the men was Charles Darcy (34), of John's Lane West, Dublin 8, who is due for sentence next month after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm which was later found in the car when Paget crashed the vehicle at Longs Place, Dublin 8.
The delivery driver alerted gardaí immediately and the car registration was broadcast over the garda radio.
Detective Garda Eoin Hickey told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that three garda cars had their blue lights and sirens activated while pursuing the stolen car driven by Paget.
Paget drove the car on the wrong side of the road, the wrong way around a roundabout, driving on two wheels going around corners and forcing other drivers to take evasive action to avoid crashing.
The court heard that, at Long's Place, the car crashed into a parked car with such force that the parked car collided with another vehicle.
The car chase lasted approximately 10 minutes, moving from Dublin 12 to the Dublin 8 area.
The three occupants of the car fled the scene, and gardaí, wearing stab vets, chased after them on foot.
Det Gda Hickey told the court that Paget would not submit to the arrest and engaged in a struggle with a Garda Dara Higgins.
During the arrest, Paget was sprayed with pepper spray and was struck with a garda baton. He fell to the ground, dragging Garda Higgins with him, and was arrested before being brought to Crumlin Garda station where a medic assessed him.
The court heard Gda Higgins was brought to St James Hospital where he was found to have a fractured hand. Paget was also brought to St James Hospital for further medical assessment.
Gda Higgins approached the bedside of Paget, where the accused noticed the injury to the garda’s hand. He then shouted: “I hope it is f**king broken, I hope it's f**king sore, I hope it’s f**king mangled.”
Paget has 15 previous convictions, including aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual assault, for which he served a 10-year sentence, as well as possession of drugs, theft, fraud, obstruction and failing to appear.
Paget was also on bail at the time of this offence for the robbery of the Marble Arch pub, owned by Conor McGregor, in Drimnagh, Dublin 8.
Paget pleaded guilty to taking possession of a vehicle without the consent of the owner, assaulting Garda Dara Higgins causing him harm, and dangerous driving.
Det Hickey agreed with Karl Monaghan BL, defending, that Paget only became verbally abusive when Gda Higgins approached his bedside.
He also agreed that Paget was 16 when he committed the aggravated burglary and sexual assault offence, for which he served a 10-year sentence.
Keith Spencer BL, defending Darcy, made an application on behalf of his client to restrict him from being named as a co-accused in the case. However, Judge Orla Crowe refused the application, noting the requirement for justice to be administered in public.
“There is nothing open to me that shows that I have been persuaded that reporting restrictions should be put in place for Charles Darcy,” she said.
Judge Crowe adjourned the matter for sentencing next week and remanded Paget in custody.