Pharmacist appears in court on garda assault charge following high-speed chase
Garda suffered dislocated shoulder and broken finger during incident, court hears
The judge reserved judgment until May 11th when a medical report detailing the garda’s injuries is expected to be made available. Photograph: Alan Betson
A Longford pharmacist has appeared in court charged with assaulting a garda which resulted in the officer sustaining a dislocated shoulder and broken finger following a high-speed chase last year.
Sean Stakelum (37), Park Road, Longford, appeared before a sitting of Longford District Court on Tuesday morning after an incident in Longford town over the course of October 4th and 5th, 2020.
The court heard gardaí observed a car travelling at high speed along the Market Square area of town with two occupants inside.
Sgt Mark Mahon, for the State, said gardaí gave chase after the car failed to stop. He said the car in question almost crashed into a railway bridge before continuing to travel at high speed before turning into a residential housing estate where it overturned.
Sgt Mahon said a male exited the vehicle and attempted to return to the car moments later where an “aggressive struggle” with gardaí ensued.
During the course of that exchange, Sgt Mahon said the arresting garda was pushed to the ground, suffering a dislocated shoulder as a result.
The male officer, who has not returned to official duty since the incident, also suffered a broken finger while attempting to escort the accused man into a Garda patrol car.
Sgt Darren Conlon said Mr Stakelum made no reply when the charges were put to him.
Judge Séamus Hughes noted the charges before the court included drink-driving, drug-driving in which the accused is alleged to have been under the influence of cocaine, as well as dangerous driving.
Defence solicitor Brian Leahy said no decision had been taken on what course his client was taking after it was revealed the Director of Public Prosecutions indicated the case could be heard at District Court level on a guilty plea only.
Mr Leahy said his client would also be contesting some of the evidence heard including that the car involved was not overturned when it was stopped.
Judge Hughes said given the seriousness of the charges it was likely he would refer the case up to the Circuit Court whether Mr Stakelum opted to plead guilty or not.
He reserved judgment until May 11th when a medical report detailing the garda’s injuries is expected to be made available.