Man who drove over leg of garda after chase sentenced to 4 years

Garda was injured after attempting to block path of vehicle which the accused was driving erratically around central Dublin

STOCK: The Courts of Criminal Justice on Parkgate St. Dublin
Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times
The Criminal Courts of Justice Exterior view

A Dublin man has been handed a four-year sentence for dangerous driving which resulted in him knocking down a garda whose leg he drove over.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that on December 22nd, 2014, gardaí were alerted to a driver who was driving dangerously in the St Patrick Street area of Dublin.

The court heard that gardaí observed a man who was later identified as James Flood (30) of Temple Street West, Dublin 7, driving through red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road toward oncoming traffic and damaging other cars.

Gardaí began a pursuit of the car, but Flood failed to stop even when the blue light of the garda car was engaged, the court heard. Garda David Hoare attempted to block the path of Flood, and as a result, he was knocked to the ground after which Flood proceeded to drive over his leg and foot.

Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, told the court that when the car Flood had been driving was finally brought to a stop and Flood was arrested, he gave a false name to gardaí.

Flood, who has 75 previous convictions, including a number for dangerous driving and driving without insurance, made full admissions of guilt during his Garda interview.

The court heard that the offence took place in December 2014 but was delayed in proceeding to court as Flood absconded for some time.

Flood pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which resulted in the injury of a member of the An Garda Síochána.

Carol Doherty BL, defending, told the court that her client suffers from a drug-induced psychosis, which exacerbated his offending. She said her client indicated in his interview that he fully accepted what he did and said he was on a lot of sleeping pills at the time and was sorry to all involved.

Judge Pauline Codd commended Garda Hoare for his actions in the course of duty. She said the accused engaged in appalling driving. She noted his conduct was in the upper range of offences.

Judge Codd noted Flood’s early guilty plea, his full admission and apology for his actions. Furthermore, she took into account his psychosis, his drug abuse and the neglect he had as a child who grew up in chronically adverse circumstances into consideration as mitigating factors.

Judge Codd sentenced Flood to 4½ in prison but suspended the final six months on the condition that he remains under the supervision of the probation service, keeps the peace and is of good behaviour for one-year post-release.

He must also engage in residential treatment if directed and is disqualified from driving for 10 years.