A YOUNG man who attempted to jump over a marked garda patrol car while riding a horse through a city housing estate during the early hours of the morning has avoided a prison sentence.
Pleading guilty in Limerick court to charges relating to the incident, Francis Casey, aged 20, of Clonlong, Southill admitted “wilfully or recklessly” permitting a horse to pose a danger to persons or property at Donoughmore Crescent, John Carew Park, at around 2.50am on May 6, last.
Garda John Murray, Roxboro Road, told Limerick Court the defendant “intentionally charged” at the garda patrol car with the horse as he attempted to block his path.
In his evidence, he said he had repeatedly asked Casey to stop riding the horse before the incident happened.
“A number of attempts had been made to get him off the horse,” he said adding that Casey had tried to get the animal to jump over the bonnet of the patrol car but instead caused around €600 worth of damage when he collided with the vehicle.
Solicitor Sarah Ryan said her client disputed the allegation that he had deliberately charged at the patrol car.
She said Casey admitted he had been reckless on the night but claimed her client had been “unable to stop the horse” when the garda patrol car pulled out in front of him at speed.
Garda Murray rejected this assertion saying “I consider it to have been a fair distance ahead (of the horse)”.
Ms Ryan added that there was no suggestion her client had been cruel to the animal.
She said Casey is currently serving a five month prison sentence for separate road traffic offences and she asked the judge not to add to that sentence.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said he was satisfied that Casey knew the gardai “were in the vicinity” as he had been asked to desist from riding the horse moments before the impact.
The judge imposed a four week prison sentence, which he suspended for four months.