Embassy driver forced gardai to jump out of way
A DRIVER for the Mexican Embassy in Ireland has been put off the road for four years after he forced two gardai to jump out of his way to avoid being run down when he failed to stop for them.
Thomas Horgan (27), a former garda reservist, was driving an embassy car having worked all day when he put the two beat patrol officers "at risk" in the incident.
He was given the four-year ban and fined €500 after a judge found him guilty of careless driving in the incident in Dublin city centre.
The charge was reduced from dangerous driving after Judge Michael Walsh said the evidence did not bear out the more serious offence.
Horgan, with an address at Lansdowne Gardens, Ballsbridge, had denied the charge, insisting that he had not seen the gardai on the road.
Garda Wayne Carey told Dublin District Court he was on duty at St Stephen's Green South on June 1, 2012, at 11.45pm.
A Ford Galaxy driven by the accused took an illegal right turn across the Luas tracks and he decided to stop the vehicle.
Both he and Garda Siobhan Murray, wearing high-visibility jackets, stepped into the road and put their hands up to stop the car.
It did not slow down and they had to move aside to avoid being struck. The car passed them and he stopped a passing patrol car which took him in search of the accused's vehicle.
The accused was stopped on nearby Ely Place.
Garda Siobhan Murray said the car had continued driving directly towards them as they tried to flag it down. She made eye contact with the driver, then jumped out of the way "in order to not be knocked down".
When the accused was stopped, he said: "I didn't see you."
"I have never had an experience like this before and I was absolutely stunned," Garda Murray said.
Horgan's barrister argued it would have made no sense for the accused to have acted as he did if he had seen the gardai.
Horgan said in evidence he had been to Monaghan and back that day and was returning from the airport, so he might have been a "little bit tired".
He did not realise he had made an illegal turn and the first he knew about failing to stop for the gardai was when he was pulled in by the patrol car.