Driver overturned car in bid to avoid Gardai
AN UNINSURED driver who drove away at speed from Gardai overturned his car in a cul de sac.
Summoned at Sligo District Court for dangerous driving and not having insurance was Patrick Duffy, Killavill, Ballymote, who Judge Kevin Kilrane said had "risked life and limb in a mad and determined effort" to avoid detection.
Duffy (28) pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving at Carrowloughlin, Bunninadden on November 19, 2011.
Inspector Sean McGinty said Garda Dave O'Reilly observed a driver on a mobile phone and turned and followed him.
The blue lights were activated but the car failed to stop.
It drove at high speed and at Spurtown it had to drive on to the grass margin as it met an oncoming car.
The patrol car reached speeds of between 120 kph and 125 kph as it followed the car.
It turned into a cul de sac where it turned over.
When the driver got out he threw his mobile phone into a field.
Inspector McGinty said Duffy had three previous convictions, one for being drunk in charge of a car and two relating to counterfeit currency.
Mr. Gerard McGovern, solicitor (defending), pleaded that the difficulty was Duffy didn't have insurance.
There was no alcohol involved, he said, adding that Duffy was insured on another vehicle.
Mr. McGovern said Duffy, a farmer, was living with his elderly parents and the loss of his licence was going to cost him dearly.
"He realises now how stupid he was and will have to make alternative arrangements," he said.
Judge Kilrane said it was an extraordinary episode, all for the sake of avoiding a prosecution for no insurance.
Duffy said he had no excuse for what he did.
He added that he had been diagnosed as an epileptic since August and sometimes this affected his judgement and things he did.
Judge Kilrane fined Duffy €300 for dangerous driving and €300 for not having insurance.
He was also banned for three years.