A Lexus driver rammed a garda car on to a busy road and it was only when one of the officers broke the driver’s window with an emergency hammer and pepper-sprayed him that the life-endangering incident was brought to an end.
Tony Delaney, 25, of Spring Lane halting site, Cork, was jailed for two years yesterday by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Delaney pleaded guilty to an endangerment charge, whereby at Castlelands, Buttevant, County Cork, on July 20 1019 he recklessly engaged in conduct while attempting to evade capture by gardaí by using his car to try to push their garda patrol car out on the public roadway into the flow of passing traffic.
The judge said it was a serious incident committed by a man with an appalling record of numerous driving convictions who had ignored numerous disqualification orders in the past.
Detective Garda Aidan Long gave evidence of what happened shortly before 9 a.m. on the morning of July 20 last.
Gardaí received a call of a suspected drink-driving in North Cork. Gardaí Brian Callanan and Conor O’Halloran responded to that call about the car being driven through Charleville. They drove to the area and encountered the Lexus at Ballyhea village where they turned around and followed the car.
The guards observed the car being driven dangerously and at speed, overtaking one car on a continuous white line between Ballyhea and Buttevant.
The Lexus stopped at Castlelands and the gardaí pulled the patrol car up beside it signalling to Delaney to remain at the scene.
That was when the 25-year-old rammed the patrol car and tried to force it into the path of oncoming traffic.
Garda O’Halloran jumped out and used the emergency hammer from the patrol car to break the window of the Lexus and he deployed pepper-spray on the driver.
Delaney got out and tried to run from the scene. Garda Callanan ran after him and he also deployed pepper-spray before the culprit could be arrested.
Another man in the car fled the scene and was never apprehended.
Defence barrister, Paula McCarthy, said the defendant was struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol at the time. She said the defendant’s wife and wider family were supportive of him and wanted to assist him in undertaking rehabilitation on his release from prison.
Ms McCarthy BL said Delaney had written a letter of apology and expressed his remorse.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said he was not interested in a letter of apology from a man who consistently ignored court orders disqualifying him from driving. The judge said he would be far more interested in Delaney adhering to orders disqualifying him from driving.
Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed another disqualification on the accused yesterday for the endangerment, for a period of ten years.
“I have no doubt this man should not be back on the road, he should not be allowed to drive a car until there is a considerable change in his attitude to society,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.