| 14.4°C Dublin

Man smashed barrier in car park pursuit

A FATHER-of-three who smashed through a shopping centre car park ticket barrier in a stolen vehicle as he led gardai on a high-speed chase has been jailed for 10 months.

Paul Hogan (36), sped away from pursuing officers through the busy car park in the run up to Christmas and eventually lost them, but was spotted two days later.

Judge Michael Coghlan found him guilty of dangerous driving and other charges and banned him from driving for 20 years, as well as sentencing him to jail.

Hogan, of Donomore Avenue, Tallaght, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving, unauthorised use of a car and failing to stop for gardai at the car park at The Square on December 9, 2013.

His defence had maintained there was insufficient evidence identifying him as the driver.

The prosecuting garda told Dublin District Court he was on duty in a marked patrol van on Level 2 of the car park when he saw the accused in a blue Volkswagen Passat, driving at speed.

Hogan approached a mini-roundabout, going the wrong way around it, then went onto the ramp to the next level. A car coming down the ramp had to take avoidance action.

The gardai followed as the Passat approached the ticket barrier.

accelerated

The driver had difficulty obtaining a ticket and stepped out to retrieve it, before getting back into the car. He then tried to park in a space and when the patrol van approached, he exited at speed away from it.

He drove through the car park, which was busy with pedestrians as it was coming up to Christmas. He came to a stop at another barrier and tried to put in his ticket. When the garda got out and approached on foot, Hogan accelerated and drove straight through the barrier, causing it to separate from its mechanism. The damage cost €118 to repair.

The gardai followed the car to Belgard Square, where it broke a red light, continuing at speed before they lost sight of it.

Two days later, the garda came across the defendant and immediately recognised him.

He discovered the Passat had been stolen in the course of a burglary in Rathfarnham on December 5.

In cross-examination, the defendant's barrister put it to the garda that he had only seen the driver for five to six seconds.

"I am 100pc certain he is the same individual," the garda said.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy