Tuesday 20 August 2019

Garda 'dragged along by a speeding car for 200 metres and repeatedly punched in the head', court is told

Federico Carvalho
Federico Carvalho
Stock image
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A garda “got off very lucky” that he wasn't seriously injured when he was allegedly dragged along by a speeding car for 200 metres as he was repeatedly punched in the head, a court has heard.

Two men were charged in court following the incident in Dublin's south inner city.

Jonathan Coelho (28), the alleged driver of the car, was refused bail.

His co-accused and alleged passenger, Federico Carvalho (29), was remanded in custody with consent to bail, with both cases adjourned for a week, pending the directions of the DPP.

Mr Coelho, with an address in Duleek, Co Meath, is charged with recklessly endangering Garda Conor Murray in the incident on Wednesday.

Mr Carvalho, of South Circular Road, is accused of assaulting Gda Murray, causing him harm.

At Dublin District Court, Garda Wayne Carey told Judge Treasa Kelly he was objecting to bail in Mr Coelho’s case.

Outlining the case, he said gardai were conducting an investigation at 11.30pm on July 31.

It was alleged Mr Coelho was seen on CCTV getting into his Chevrolet car and driving along Cuffe Street.

His co-accused was in the front passenger seat, Gda Carey said.

When the gardaí activated their car’s blue lights to signal for the car to stop, the Chevrolet sped off through the junction with Aungier Street and performed a dangerous 360-degree turn while other vehicles and pedestrians were present.

The Chevrolet accelerated up Kevin Street Lower, on the wrong side of the road against oncoming traffic and past a red light. It continued along Kevin Street Upper, across a junction and up St Luke’s Avenue, where it performed a U-turn, drove back down the road and crashed, the garda said.

Gda Murray got out of his car and tried to get the driver and passenger to get out of their Chevrolet.

As Gda Murray tried to enter their car, it was alleged it reversed away at speed. The garda was half dragged through the window and punched in the head and body, it's alleged.

He was dragged along in this position, with his legs hanging out of the car, for 200 metres before being kicked from the vehicle.

The car collided with a wall and it was alleged Mr Coelho then ran away.

Garda Carey pursued him to Meath Street and apprehended him. Mr Coelho had a cut to his face and was “covered in blood”, the garda said.

It was alleged that while he was being dragged along, Gda Murray was repeatedly punched in the head and body.

He was taken to hospital afterwards and treated for cuts and bruises.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Michael French said Mr Coelho was denying the charge and was presumed innocent.

Gda Carey said Mr Coelho had an Italian passport, but his social media accounts stated he was from Brazil. The gardaí were trying to verify the passport.

Mr Coelho had worked as a butcher in a slaughterhouse and had been here cumulatively for three years, Mr French said, but Gda Carey said this accused had told him he was only here a few months.

Mr French said the injuries were minor, but Gda Carey replied that Garda Murray “got off very lucky”.

In relation to Mr Carvalho, Gda Fran Kennedy said he was objecting to bail.

When Mr French said the garda's injuries were relatively minor, Gda Kennedy said "by the grace of God, from what I understand".

Mr Carvalho, who worked in a fishmongers, strenuously denied any involvement in the alleged offence, Mr French said.

He was also presumed innocent and had been in Ireland for six months, he added.

Judge Kelly refused bail in Mr Coelho's case.

She granted Mr Carvalho bail in his own bond of €200, with an independent surety of €750, of which €250 has to be lodged in cash. She remanded him in custody with consent to bail and both accused will appear in Cloverhill District Court on August 9.

The accused were assisted in court by a Portuguese interpreter.

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