Jail for motorcyclist speeding through Westmeath villages

A Westmeath man who evaded Gardaí on his motorbike travelling at over 100 miles per hour into the Offaly village of Clara on St Patrick’s Day has been sentenced to five months imprisonment.

Judge Gerard Haughton imposed the sentence on Patrick Nugent of Glasson, Athlone at Tullamore District Court, saying there were a lot of pedestrians around on the day.

Inspector Pat Murray told the court that Sergeant John Treacy went to the Dublin Road, Moate after receiving reports of motorcyclists doing wheelies close to The Well pub.

On his arrival he observed Patrick Nugent coming towards him, but when he signalled to him to stop, he drove past him with only a foot to spare.

He followed Mr Nugent through the village of Tubber travelling at speeds of 160km in the 80km/hour zone.

On his way into Clara, overtaking cars, he was travelling at speeds of up to 180km/hour.

He went through pedestrian lights at Church Street and was forced to stop where the town was blocked off for the parade. He then went down a side road and abandoned his motorcycle. He was caught after trying to escape on foot.

He had been disqualified from driving for four years in 2007.

Mr Donal Farrelly said his client had jumped the gun in buying the bike before he was entitled to apply for his licence back in an attempt to improve his circumstances.  

He said the 28-year-old very much regretted the incident.

Judge Haughton disqualified Mr Nugent for seven years on each of the counts of dangerous driving, no insurance and failure to stop.

He imposed a five month sentence on the insurance and dangerous driving charge, highlighting that at 160km/hour Mr Nugent was driving at the equivalent of 100 miles per hour.

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