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Prison for man who assaulted mini bus driver in ‘road rage’ incident in Balbriggan

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Sonya Egan (42) is appealing the three-year prison sentence handed to her for harrassment. (Stock image)

Sonya Egan (42) is appealing the three-year prison sentence handed to her for harrassment. (Stock image)

Sonya Egan (42) is appealing the three-year prison sentence handed to her for harrassment. (Stock image)

fingalindependent

A 30-year-old man who entered a minibus and assaulted the driver in a road rage incident while young children were on board has been sentenced to one month in prison.

Gareth Lokko pulled open the door of the bus while it was stopped at traffic lights, grabbed the driver and threatened to punch him in the face, Swords District Court heard.

The defendant, of Martello Road, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to assaulting the bus driver at Moylaragh Road, Balbriggan on September 30 last year.

He also admitted threatening to damage the minibus and engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

The court heard Lokko attacked the driver because he believed he had “cut him off” earlier in the day when the accused was on his scooter.

Garda Paul Kelly said he was flagged down on the afternoon in question by the driver of a minibus who told him he’d been assaulted.

The victim told him Lokko had pulled open the door of the bus while he was pulled up at traffic lights, grabbed him and threatened to punch him in the face.

Garda Kelly said there were special needs children on board the bus at the time of the incident.

The defendant also threatened to damage the bus.

The garda said the attack arose following a confrontation earlier that same day when the accused alleged the bus driver had “cut him off”.

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Lokko had shouted abuse and obscenities at the driver at the time and demanded an apology.

When he recognised the bus and the driver later that afternoon at the traffic lights, he got out of his vehicle entered the bus and grabbed the bus driver before threatening him and the vehicle, the garda said.

The defendant has 44 previous convictions, including possession of drugs, obstruction and making threats to kill.

Defence solicitor Fiona D’Arcy said that while Lokko accepted the charges before the court he would contend that on that date the bus driver had almost knocked him off his scooter.

The garda agreed this was what the defendant claimed had happened but there was “zero evidence” of this.

Ms D’Arcy said this was an incident which had “spiralled completely out of control”.

Lokko did not realise there were children on board the bus at the time and would never speak in a threatening manner in front of kids, she said, adding he wished to apologise to the court and the bus driver.

The solicitor appealed to the court not to incarcerate the defendant but instead to give him time to pay compensation to the injured party.

Judge Gerard Jones convicted Lokko of assault and sentenced him to one month in prison taking all other charges into consideration.


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