A dangerous motorcylist who raced through Eyre Square, forcing a garda to jump out of the way, and charged at a checkpoint before losing control, was sentenced to 10 months in jail this week.
Tom Folan (25 ) with an address at 42 St James Crescent, Mervue, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance and a driving licence, and failure to produce the documents on January 30, 2010.
Inspector Ernie White told the court that at 2.50am gardai on mobile patrol in Eyre Square heard the noise of a motorcyle coming from the direction of Eglinton Street at speed. A garda signalled for the motorcylist to stop but this was ignored. The motorcycle speeded up and continued on, forcing the garda to jump out of the way. A checkpoint, with a large garda presence, had been set up at Prospect Hill and the motorcycle mades its way towards it, swerving on the road before jumping up onto the footpath to get around a patrol car. Folan then lost control and fell.
Regarding the initial incident defence solicitor Thomas McHale said that the garda had been in the middle of the road, that there were a lot of people around, and that his client did not realise that it was a garda who was signalling for him to stop. “He thought that someone was trying to knock him off,” he said.
“Are you telling me that a garda would stand out in the road with no markings to say he was a garda. Was he trying to commit suicide,” asked Judge Mary Fahy with disbelief.
Mr McHale further reiterated that Folan did not realise it was a garda before adding that the motorbike has since been sold. He said that Folan, who is the father of one child, has had previous problems with drink and drugs but is trying to get “on the straight and narrow” by applying for a course at GMIT.
The court heard that Folan has 27 pervious convictions which include a six month suspended sentence imposed in January of this year for assault causing harm. There was also a conviction for driving without insurance in April 2006.
After consideration Judge Fahy said that she would not re-activate the suspended sentence as it was a totally different type of offence. However, she said that she could not let Folan walk out of the court. “He only stopped because he was knocked off. He has to learn that is not acceptable,” said Judge Fahy before imposing a total of 10 months in jail. Leave to appeal was granted.