Wednesday 23 May 2018

'If you spit on footpath, you're going to jail,' garda chase driver told

Garreth Lokko led gardai on a high-speed chase through Balbriggan

Garda Traffic Corps. Stock picture
Garda Traffic Corps. Stock picture

Eimear Cotter

A former mechanic who overtook a car stopped at a busy junction and blindly drove at speed out onto a main road has been banned from driving for 10 years.

Garreth Lokko (25) led gardai on a high-speed chase through Balbriggan, before he hit a footpath, drove through a set of bollards, and abandoned the vehicle.

Judge John Coughlan imposed a five-month sentence but suspended it for two years, telling Lokko that if he "even spits on the footpath in the next two years he faces going to jail".

The judge also disqualified Lokko from driving for 10 years.

The defendant admitted to dangerous driving and driving without insurance at Dun Saithne Avenue in Balbriggan on January 31 last.

Garda Colum McElligott told Swords District Court that gardai were on mobile patrol shortly before 9am when a 1998-registered vehicle drove out of Dun Saithne View and turned left without indicating.

Gda McElligott said the car sped up and away from gardai, turning onto Chieftain's Close and then Hamlet Lane, driving at speed over speed bumps.


The garda said that at the R132 Dublin Road junction Lokko overtook a vehicle which was stopped, and turned blindly out onto the road, which is the main thoroughfare through Balbriggan.

Gda McElligott said Lokko drove at high speed up Bremore Road and New Haven Avenue, before hitting a footpath and driving through a set of bollards.

The garda car was unable to fit through the bollards, the court heard.

Gda McElligott said the car was found abandoned, and unlocked, a short distance away.

The court heard that Lokko, of Dun Saithne View in Balbriggan, has 19 previous convictions, including two for uninsured driving.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said the defendant previously worked as a mechanic and was very sorry for his behaviour.

Ms D'Arcy said the defendant realises he behaved very badly, and he is no longer driving.

She said Lokko is currently looking for work as a painter and decorator.

Ms D'Arcy told the court Lokko has a young child and his second is due shortly.

She also said he hasn't come to garda attention in recent months and is focused on the birth of his new child.


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