Man jailed for punching garda in face after smashing patrol car windscreen

Thomas Doyle (26) from Crumlin has limited intellectual capacity, court hears

The court heard Thomas Doyle smashed the windscreen of a Garda patrol car outside his house in Crumlin, Dublin. File Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The court heard Thomas Doyle smashed the windscreen of a Garda patrol car outside his house in Crumlin, Dublin. File Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire


A man who smashed the windscreen of a patrol car and later punched a garda in the face has been jailed for 16 months.

Thomas Doyle (26) was spotted by Garda John Ryan driving in the Crumlin area. The officer, who was a passenger in a marked patrol car, indicated that Doyle should pull over as he knew he was a disqualified driver.

Garda David Costigan told Diane Stuart BL, prosecuting, that Doyle instead accelerated away from the patrol car at such speed that smoke billowed from the back wheels.

The gardaí ­ pursued Doyle who continued to drive at speed in the area having initially lost control of the vehicle after taking a turn too sharply. At one point Garda Costigan, who was the driver of the patrol car, said he had to “take evasive action” as Doyle tried to ram the vehicle.

The chase came to an end when Doyle pulled up outside his home on Cashel Avenue in Crumlin and he and his passenger got out of the car. Doyle ran up to the patrol car and smashed the windscreen and pushed against the driver’s door to prevent Garda Costigan getting out the vehicle.

Garda Ryan got out and shouted at Doyle to get onto the ground but he refused and ran into his home. He emerged minutes later and ran at Garda Ryan armed with a bicycle tyre.

He refused to stop when told to do so and while Garda Ryan reached for his pepper spray, Doyle punched him in the face.

He then ran back into his house and the two gardaí­ radioed for back-up.

Officers eventually gained access to Doyle’s home after a number of people tried to prevent them from doing so but the accused was not there.

Doyle of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving and assaulting Garda Ryan causing him harm on August 8th, 2018. He has 66 previous convictions mainly for road traffic offences.

Broken teeth

Garda Costigan confirmed that Doyle was later arrested and Garda Ryan was taken to St James’s Hospital for treatment. He had two broken teeth in the front of his mouth and one in the back.

Garda Costigan agreed with Nicola Cox BL, defending, that her client was heavily intoxicated on the day and has since apologised to Garda Ryan.

He agreed that none of his previous convictions were for violent offences and they had all been dealt with in the District Court. He has a supportive mother and partner who were both in court.

Garda Costigan further accepted that Doyle has not come to Garda attention since his arrest.

Ms Cox told Judge Martin Nolan that her client has not taken drugs since the arrest. She said his father died by suicide a number of years previously which led him into drug addiction and criminality.

She said her client had limited intellectual capacity and has previously been assessed as having very low cognitive functioning.

Judge Nolan said Doyle was driving while disqualified and drove very dangerously in an attempt to get away from gardaí.

He accepted his low level of intelligence but said he has no doubt that Doyle “knows the difference between right and wrong and he knows he should not punch gardaí­ or drive dangerously”.

Judge Nolan said he thought Doyle’s “misbehaviour was too great to allow for him not to go into custody” before he suspended the final 14 months of a two-and-half year sentence.

He also disqualified him from driving for five years.