A Letterkenny garda has described in court as very traumatic the incident in which a driver who had failed to stop, drove a car at him.
Christopher Orr of Trentnamucklagh, St Johnston was jailed for two years at Letterkenny Circuit Court after pleading guilty to endangering Garda Kevin Hynes at Fairgreen Park in Letterkenny in August 2012.
Orr pleaded guilty to a total of nine charges related to three different incidents involving motoring offences in the space of three days. On one occasion he drove at another garda and narrowly missed hitting members of the public in the carpark of a nightclub.
The court heard gardaí responded to a report of a black Ford Mondeo driving dangerously at Fairgreen Park on August 2nd, 2012. When gardaí got to the scene they saw the black Mondeo speeding through the estate.
The car turned left into a cul-de-sac and attempted a three-point turn. Garda Hynes identified the driver as Christopher Orr. He stalled the car when he saw the Garda van. Garda Hynes shouted stop and the driver of the Garda van brought it nose to nose with the car.
Garda Hynes got out of the van and called on Orr to stop. Orr restarted the car, reversedand accelerated, colliding with the front of the patrol van.
Garda Hynes smashed the passenger window of the car in an attempt to get the car to stop but Orr drove at him causing the garda to run to get out of the way.
The wing mirror of the car caught the garda and he was knocked into a hedge. He suffered cuts to his left hand, arm and his shoulder and had to attend the emergency department at Letterkenny General Hospital.
The car proceeded down Long Lane and fled.
Garda Hynes told the court that he found it a “very traumatic incident”.
Orr also pleaded guilty to charges related to an incident at the carpark of the Grill nightclub on July 27th when he drove at a garda who was instructing him to stop.
Sgt Aiden Doherty told the court that gardaí saw a black Ford Mondeo drive into the car park at speed at around 1.30am. Garda Stephen Moyles was concerned at the speed the car was travelling at and signalled for the driver, who he recognised as Orr, to stop.
Garda Moyles had to move out of the way as the car drove at him and it narrowly avoided hitting members of the public as it weaved through the crowd.
In the third incident which happened the day after the failure to stop at Fairgreen Park, gardaí obtained a search warrant for a premises in Listillion where they believed the Ford Mondeo was being kept.
Garda Moyles observed a vehicle driving down a lane way. The driver shouted ‘get out of the f**king way,” and reversed up the lane at speed, colliding with a car that was parked on the road before driving off a great speed.
The court heard that Orr has 15 previous convictions for offences including burglary, theft, trespassing and the misuse of drugs.
Addressing the court, Orr apologised to Garda Hynes for what he did. He said it was “dangerous and stupid”.
Judge Keenan Johnson said he had to send a strong message and a deterrent to those who drove cars in such a way.
He jailed Orr for three and a half years, suspending the last 18 months on condition he enter into a bond to keep the peace for seven years. Orr was also disqualified from driving for 20 years.
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