Tuesday 20 August 2019

'Lucky someone wasn't killed' - Learner driver who overtook 12 cars and a bus on the wrong side of the road avoids jail

Blanchardstown District Court
Blanchardstown District Court
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A LEARNER driver “panicked” when he saw gardai and sped off at high speed, overtaking a bus and 12 cars on the wrong side of the road, a court heard.

Glen Mooney (20) was “very lucky someone wasn’t killed”, a judge told him.

Judge Paula Murphy imposed a three-month sentence which she suspended for 18 months.

She also fined Mooney, of Fortlawn Avenue, Blanchardstown, and banned him from driving for two years.

The defendant pleaded guilty to counts of dangerous driving as well as driving without insurance.

Garda Paul Doona told Blanchardstown District Court that he was on mobile patrol last August 22 when the onboard system in his patrol car indicated there was no tax on a white Ford Transit Connect.

Gda Doona indicated for the vehicle to stop, but it entered a bus lane at Blanchardstown Road South and failed to do so.

He said Mooney continued along Blakestown Way, overtaking a number of vehicles on the wrong side of the road.

He drove through a red traffic light at the junction of Hartstown Road where he overtook a bus and 12 cars on the wrong side of the road and on a sweeping bend.

Gda Doona told the court Mooney was doing speeds in excess of 90kph in a residential area just before 6pm.

The court heard Mooney drove into Fortlawn estate where he was apprehended by gardai.

Gda Doona said he was a learner driver, was driving unaccompanied and also failed to produce his insurance.

The court heard Mooney had never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said the defendant apologised at the scene to gardai, telling them he had no insurance and when he saw them he “panicked and kept going”.

Mr Fleming said the defendant was a young man “not on the garda radar”.

Mooney knew he wasn’t insured and foolishly got involved in a “mad enterprise to try to avoid detection”, he added.

At the time, his father had entered rehab, and this was “weighing on his mind”, the court heard.

Mr Fleming also said the defendant, who was an apprentice, would not be in nearly as much trouble if he had just stopped for gardai.


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