By Claire Henry
A Dublin man has been handed a four-year sentence for dangerous driving which resulted in him knocking down and driving over a garda’s leg.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that on December 22, 2014, gardai were alerted to a driver who was driving dangerously in the St Patrick Street area of Dublin.
The court heard that gardaí observed a man who was later identified as James Flood (30) of Temple Street West, Dublin 7, driving through red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road toward oncoming traffic and damaging other cars.
Gardaí began a pursuit of the car, but Flood failed to stop even when the blue light of the garda car was engaged, the court heard.
Garda David Hoare attempted to block the path of Flood, and as a result, he was knocked to the ground, and Flood proceeded to drive over his leg and foot.
Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, told the court that when the car Flood had been driving was finally brought to a stop and Flood was arrested, he gave a false name to gardaí.
Flood, who has 75 previous convictions, including a number for dangerous driving and driving without insurance, made full admissions of guilt during his garda interview.
The court heard that this offence took place in December 2014 but was delayed in proceeding to court as Flood absconded for some time.
Flood pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which resulted in the injury of a member of the gardai.
Carol Doherty BL, defending, told the court that her client suffers from a drug-induced psychosis, which exacerbated his offending.
She said her client indicated in his interview that he fully accepted what he did and said he was on a lot of sleeping pills at the time and was sorry to all involved.
Judge Pauline Codd commended Garda Hoare for his actions in the course of duty.
She said the accused carried out sporadic appalling driving, which aggravated the conduct of the accused. She noted his conduct was in the upper range of offences.
Judge Codd noted Flood’s early guilty plea, his full admission and apology for his actions.
Furthermore, she took into account his psychosis, his drug abuse and the neglect he had as a child who grew up in chronically adverse circumstances into consideration as mitigating factors.
Judge Codd sentenced Flood to four and a half years in prison but suspended the final six months under the conditions that he remains under the supervision of the probation and keeps the peace, and be of good behaviour for one-year post-release.
He must also engage in residential treatment if directed and is disqualified from driving for 10 years.