A man who drove through a checkpoint before leading gardai on a high speed chase through the Mid Cork countryside is facing community service.
Timothy Murphy (22) of Prohus, Kilnamartyra appeared in Macroom District Court charged with a number of offences arising from an incident in the early hours of June 10 last.
The court heard that two gardai were holding a checkpoint on the eastern outskirts of Macroom at 2:57am when a Mitsubishi Lancer approached them from the direction of Macroom.
Instead of slowing down, Judge Angela Ni Chonduin heard that the car gathered speed and drove through the checkpoint, causing the gardai to jump out of the way.
Gardai followed the vehicle in a squad car and found it pulled in to the side of the road. As one of the gardai alighted from the squad car and approached the vehicle, it took off at high speed and veered onto the wrong side of the road.
Despite activating the siren, the defendant failed to stop for gardai as he drove across country roads at speeds in excess of 120kmph.
The court heard that the car was "out of control" and glanced off several ditches, narrowly missing an oncoming car in the process.
Gardai spent 20 minutes following the car, and noticed the driving got worse as the defendant drove on. The car pulled into a house, turned and faced out towards the squad car. Gardai pulled back so as not to force a confrontation and were later flagged down by a man on a milk run who complained that the defendant was on the wrong side of the road.
It is alleged that Mr Murphy was not driving the vehicle when it first went through the checkpoint and that the son of the car's owner was in the vehicle with him.
As he did not have the owner's permission to drive the vehicle, however, it was alleged that Mr Murphy's insurance did not cover him to drive the vehicle.
Defence solicitor Pat Gould argued that his client assumed consent as the owner's son was in the car at the time.
The court heard that Mr Murphy had a number of previous convictions. Mr Gould said his client, a plasterer by trade, will be effectively kept off the road for a long time given the prohibitive insurance premiums he will be quoted as a result of his record. He said his client has given up alcohol and asked that the judge consider him for community service instead of a prison sentence.
Judge Ni Chonduin adjourned the matter until September and indicated that the defendant is looking at a community service sentence.