A LAOIS man will be sentenced later for a high-speed garda chase in Dublin city during which he drove over a garda bicycle.
Adam Graham (22) had been abusing both cocaine and alcohol when he drove a stolen BMW jeep around the South Circular Road area of Dublin.
He initially refused to pull over when ordered to do so by gardaí and drove off at speed, breaking stop signs and failing to slow down at a blind junction.
The pursuit came to a stop after Graham crashed the vehicle into a garden wall. He had driven over the bicycle of one garda who had jumped off the bike to avoid being struck minutes earlier.
Graham of Highfield Meadows, Portlaoise, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawful use of a vehicle and two charges of dangerous driving on September 8, 2011.
He has 21 previous convictions including theft, drug and road traffic offences and had been disqualified from driving at the time of the offence.
The court heard that Graham, who had previously worked in the catering division of Croke Park, panicked when he heard the garda sirens and the situation “got out of control”.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned the case to March to allow Graham some time to gather compensation and to allow for urine analysis. She remanded him on continuing bail until that date.
Garda Siobhan Frisby told Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that the vehicle had been stolen outside the owner’s home on August 28, 2011. It had been valued at €14,400 but was later written off due to the damage caused to it during the pursuit.
The owner was compensated by her insurance company but still had a financial loss of €600.
Gda Frisby said gardaí spotted Graham driving the jeep on St Anthony’s Road in Dublin 8 just before midnight on September 8.
He swerved around the patrol car before taking off at speed towards James’s Walk. He continued onto Reuben Street and then back towards South Circular Road, failing to stop at stop signs along the way.
Gda Frisby said many motorists had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with the BMW before it drove back towards St James’s Walk where two gardai were waiting on mountain bikes. They jumped out of the jeep’s path when they saw it coming towards them.
Graham then drove over one of the abandoned bicycles, smashing the windscreen of the jeep and crushing the bike.
He continued back towards the Rialto Roundabout and onto Uppercross Road where he crashed into a garden wall. He and his passenger jumped out of the BMW but he was arrested in a nearby garden minutes later.
Graham later made admissions in interview and said he knew the jeep had been stolen.
Gda Frisby agreed with Lorcan Staines BL, defending, that his client had been abusing both alcohol and drugs at the time and accepted that it was “a panic situation that got out of control”.
She accepted that he was apologetic to the gardaí during interview and looked a different person today to the one she had arrested in September 2011.
Mr Staines said his client is currently unemployed but he is willing to save €50 per week to offer as compensation.
He said Graham’s addiction to alcohol and cocaine had led to him being fired from his catering job in Croke Park but he has since started to deal with his habit.
Mr Staines asked for the case to be adjourned to allow his client time to prove he has been dealing with his addictions.