A man who forced a garda to jump out of the way when he sped through a checkpoint, avoided a jail sentence in the District Court last week when the judge heard he wasn’t on bail when he committed the offence.
Ian Dunne (21 ), of Killane View, Edenderry was nonetheless fined €500 and banned from driving for two years.
The court heard how Dunne was waved down at a garda checkpoint at Bonavalley, Athlone at around 3.50am on October 27 last year.
“He failed to stop and I had to jump out of the way,” said Garda Shane Kenna.
Gardai eventually traced Dunne through his licence plate and he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
Dunne’s previous convictions were read to the court and it was revealed he had been banned from driving for 10 years after being caught twice this year (March 7 and July 4 ) drink driving with no insurance.
“On the date in question [October 27, 2007] my client had been at a function in Athlone where a friend drank too much.,” said his solicitor Tony McLynn.
“The defendant wasn’t drinking as he was on medication for depression.
“When he saw the checkpoint he had a rush of blood to the head because he didn’t think he was insured.
“It was a rash decision and he drove through the checkpoint.
“He has suffered from depression for a number of years and lives in Edenderry with his grandmother.
“There is no escaping the fact he has quite a number of road traffic offences but this offence pre-dates his previous convictions.
“He accepts he will be off the road for 10 years”.
“The key question, was he on bail [at the time of this offence]?” Judge David Anderson asked Inspector Nicholas Farrell.
“Not at this time,” replied the inspector.
“Very well. It will keep him out of custody,” said the judge.
“We’ll treat it as a first offence - well, not quite his first offence”.
Judge Anderson then fined Dunne €500 and banned him for another two years.