A YOUNG man who was chased by gardai at high speed during rush hour traffic was sentenced to ten months imprisonment.
During a contested hearing, Martin ‘Sonny’ Casey, aged 25, of Toppins Field, Rathbane denied several charges relating to an incident on December 8, last.
Garda Dean Landers said he was driving on Island Road at around 5pm when he observed a Ford Focus being driven by the defendant in the direction of Thomond Bridge.
When the lights and sirens were activated Casey, who has 60 previous convictions, then drove at speed across the middle of the Bridge before turning right and entering Thomondgate and Kileely.
After gardai lost sight of the Focus, a foot search was carried out and the vehicle located a short time later at a garage premises at New Road, Thomondgate.
Casey, the court heard, arrived in the area while gardai were still present and was immediately arrested and later charged.
Garda Niamh Keogh, a community garda in Southill said she recognised the defendant as she has known him for a number of years.
Both gardai rejected suggestions from solicitor Darach McCarthy that they were mistaken in their identification of Casey.
He also questioned the reliability of Garda Keogh’s evidence after she stated she had not made any contemporaneous notes on the day.
Convicting Casey of dangerous driving Judge Aeneas McCarthy said the evidence of Garda Keogh that she has known him for several years was important.
He imposed prison sentences totalling 10 months and disqualified Casey for seven years.