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Burglary suspect pulled garda into canal as he fled

A GARDA was dragged into the Royal Canal by a 25-year-old man as he tried to escape officers, a court heard.

Vadim Bajura ran through back gardens, jumped over fences and struggled with gardai on the banks of the canal as he attempted to evade capture.

The garda helicopter was brought in to help find Bajura, who spent 30 minutes hiding in the canal before he was found in deep undergrowth.

He claimed he was beaten up by gardai, punched in the head and spent weeks in hospital.

Judge David McHugh said Bajura placed his own life and the lives of gardai in danger in what was a "breathtaking, dramatic chase". The judge sentenced Bajura, who is homeless, to eight months in prison.

He was found guilty before Blanchardstown District Court of burglary, possession of articles for use in a burglary and assaulting Garda Paul Oates and Garda David Howard.

Garda Padraic Brennan said he was on mobile patrol when he received a call about a man acting suspiciously at Castleknock Laurels.

The garda saw Bajura walk out of a house with keys in hand. He then turned back and put the keys in the door.

Garda Brennan said he spoke to Bajura, who ran away, discarding a pair of gloves and a screwdriver as he ran.

The garda said he and Garda Alan Gordan chased after Bajura, who headed towards Castleknock train station.

Garda Brennan said Bajura jumped into the canal and tried to exit on the opposite side, where Garda Oates and Garda Howard were standing.

Garda Oates said he struggled with Bajura at the edge of the canal. He said he had taken out his pepper spray as he is afraid of water.

 

Struggled

He sprayed Bajura, who struggled with him, and he ended up on the ground and suffered a sharp pain in his lower back.

The court heard Garda Oates was dragged into the canal, but he was pulled back out by colleagues.

Garda Oates said Bajura got back into the water, and tried to swim towards Coolmine. He got back out again, going along the canal bank, and over walls and through hedging.

He said Bajura got into the water a second time, and spent 25 minutes hiding in thick hedging. The air support unit was called to the scene and Bajura was arrested. He resisted arrest and he bit Garda Howard on the left hand.

In his evidence, Bajura claimed he was scared, was beaten up by gardai and he fell into the canal when gardai grabbed him.

Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said Bajura is originally from Moldova and served in the Russian army. He has no previous convictions.

hnews@herald.ie


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