A DISTRICT justice has told a 20-year-old motorist that his drunk and dangerous driving caused the death of a pregnant garda's unborn baby.
David Judge drove a car so fast along a 9ft-wide country road that it came over a bridge airborne and crashed into a garda car.
Three gardai were injured, Sligo District Court was told.
One subsequently had to go off-duty for four months, a second for a considerable period and Garda Michelle Conroy, who was pregnant, later suffered a miscarriage and was off work for six months. At a sentencing hearing yesterday, Judge Kevin Kilrane said: "A pregnant garda miscarried. That was the death of her unborn baby."
The defendant was before the court for sentence, having been remanded in custody for a week after he admitted drunk and dangerous driving shortly after midnight at Clogher, Monasteraden, Co Sligo, on January 15.
The court heard that Judge, of Culfadda, Ballymote, was driving on an 80km speed limit road with four friends after drinking four bottles of Heineken.
A breath test showed he had 146mgs of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – which Judge Kilraine said indicated much more that four bottles of beer.
Inspector Sean McGinty said the people in the garda car saw the defendant's car being driven towards them at speed, "flying through the dips". It was unable to stop and collided with the patrol car.
The court heard there were no major injuries to the five people in Judge's car, although it was wrecked.
Judge describing his remorse and his week in prison, told the court: "It has had a very severe effect on me."
Judge Kilraine said Judge deserved to be sent to prison but instead he was handing down a 240-hour community service and a five-year drive ban.