Saturday 3 December 2016

Man who deliberately knocked over post mistress and reversed vehicle over her is jailed for three years

By Sonya McLean

Published 20/04/2015 | 15:32

The woman told the court that she was out of work for two months
The woman told the court that she was out of work for two months

A Meath resident has been jailed for three years after he deliberately knocked over a post mistress and reversed his vehicle over her.

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Keith Sullivan’s partner was the mother of Vivienne Griffin’s grandchildren and the court heard that there had been “some agro” between him and their father, Stephen Griffin, following one of the children’s First Communion that day.

Ms Griffin, who was left with multiple bruises and a cut to her lip, told the court that she couldn’t return to her home that night and she moved in with her mother. She said her sister came home to look after her and she was out of work for two months.

Ms Griffin read from her victim impact statement that she knew Sullivan and thought that when he saw her that night he would have stopped “and have some respect”.

“He showed no remorse. It’s not as if he is a stranger to me. I live beside him,” Ms Griffin continued.

Sullivan of Dulled Court, Duleek, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving at Casement Green, Finglas and failing to provide a blood or urine specimen on May 20, 2013.  He has ten previous convictions for possession of knives, threatening behaviour and disorderly conduct.

Judge Martin Nolan said Sullivan was very angry with Mr Griffin that night and drove his vehicle at the family in a threatening manner.

He said Ms Griffin suffered considerable injuries leading to a four day stay in hospital and psychological trauma that has interfered with her peace of mind.

Judge Nolan accepted that Sullivan has since reflected and “appears to be remorseful” but added that the crime was very serious and he demonstrated that he meant to do what he did on the night.

Garda David Delaney told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that Ms Griffin’s other son, Adam was sitting in the front room when he heard a loud screech and saw Sullivan coming towards the house carrying a four star wheel brace.

Sullivan mistook Adam for his brother Stephen and threatened to “smash his head in” before he broke the front window.

Adam Griffin got Stephen out of bed and the men were outside cleaning up the broken glass when they saw Sullivan driving towards their house. Sullivan drove at speed towards them a number of times while the brothers tried to get the keys out of the engine by breaking the windows and windscreen with a spade.

Gda Delaney said the third time Sullivan drove at them Ms Griffin was at the front of the house. Sullivan drove at her, knocked her to the ground and reversed his vehicle over her before fleeing the scene.

Ms Griffin remained on the ground as she was afraid to be moved. People forced her out of the way when Sullivan drove at the house a final time.

Gardaí arrived at the house and later stopped Sullivan when they spotted him driving nearby. He jumped out of the vehicle and ran into his partner’s house nearby where he was later arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Gda Delaney agreed with Kitty Perle BL, defending, that her client was initially unfit to be interviewed but said he wasn’t aware that Sullivan had a drinking problem.

He said he also was not aware that there was “agro” between the two families when Ms Perle suggested this was the “context” behind her client’s behaviour that night. He agreed that Sullivan was in a relationship with Stephen Griffin’s ex-partner.

Ms Perle told Judge Nolan that her client was “very lucky” that Ms Griffin didn’t suffer any serious physical injuries.

She said that her client had been abusing alcohol for many years and his criminal offending stems from that.

“This incident marks the lowest point in his addiction but it still took a couple of months to allow him to wake up to it,” Ms Perle said before she added that Sullivan has since been making “huge and genuine efforts” while on remand in custody.

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