Tuesday 20 March 2018

Pregnant driver hit two security guards with her car while fleeing Dublin shopping centre

The Liffey Valley Shopping Centre
The Liffey Valley Shopping Centre

Andrew Phelan

A pregnant woman hit two security guards with her car as she tried to flee a shopping centre after a suspected theft, a court heard.

Mother-of-three Mary Gavin (27) pinned one man up against another car and struck the second guard as she turned to escape, but was caught when she got stuck in heavy traffic.

Judge Bryan Smyth jailed her for five months.

She pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to two counts of assault and one of dangerous driving. There was no theft charge.

The incident happened at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on December 15, 2010.

The accused, of Moyne Park, Baldoyle, was fleeing security after an alleged theft incident, the court heard. She left the car park at speed but became stuck in a queue of traffic.

There was a suspicion there were stolen goods in the car.

At Bothar Na Life, the two security guards stood in front of the car. She moved it forward, pinning one of them to the car in front. He fell onto the bonnet of her car and then onto the ground.

Gavin then turned right, striking the second security guard. The court heard it had been obvious that the guards were standing in front of her to stop her moving on.

After striking the second security man, she managed to get onto the other side of the road, where she again became stuck in traffic. Both victims had made full recoveries and were back at work.

Gavin was under a lot of financial pressure at the time, was pregnant and suffering from panic attacks, her solicitor said.

When the security men came after her, she panicked and acted in a manner "beyond her own comprehension", he said.

She could not remember the incident. She was on no drugs other than prescription medication from her GP.

"It was all her own doing, she has only herself to blame," her solicitor added.

Her youngest child was ill and Gavin was the only person able to bring the child for hospital visits.

It was an isolated, unusual incident and she was "terrified of being taken away from her three children". She also admitted a series of other unrelated motoring charges.

The judge said he found it surprising that the accused could not remember the incident. He said it was an "appalling set of facts".

"Maybe she did panic, but she continued and didn't stop," he said.


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