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Car thief admits putting garda's life in danger

A CONVICTED car thief who stole the vehicle that killed a garda has admitted endangering the life of another member of the force.

Cathal Dunleavy (23), from Glenvar, Kerrykeel, Co Donegal, admitted reversing a car at pursuing gardai during a 30km chase last October.

Dunleavy was jailed for three years for stealing the car, which Jamie McGrenaghan (23) drove at Garda Robbie McCallion in Letterkenny in March 2009. Gda McCallion (29) died in hospital nine days later.

At the time of the offence, Dunleavy had been serving a 15-year driving ban.

Some 16 new offences were put to Dunleavy yesterday at Letterkenny Circuit Court. The accused man pleaded guilty to each charge.

He admitted endangerment, which could have caused injury or death to Gda Patrick Geraghty on October 18, 2012.

He also admitted 12 charges of dangerous driving at various locations between Letterkenny and Fanad, where he had reversed an Opel Corsa car at Gda Geraghty.

Disqualified

He pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Co-accused Gary Gibbons (23) pleaded guilty to criminal damage by smashing the windscreen of a garda squad car.

He pleaded guilty to throwing items from the Opel Corsa, endangering traffic and allowing Dunleavy to drive the car.

Peter Nolan, barrister for both men, said the two were in custody and were "keen to have all matters dealt with".

However, prosecuting barrister Patricia McLaughlin said she wished to show Judge John O'Hagan footage from the pursuit. A garda would not be available to answer questions on the video until tomorrow, she said.

Judge O'Hagan remanded Dunleavy and Gibbons in custody to appear for sentencing tomorrow.

Irish Independent