Limerick District Court
A PROMISING young soccer player “could have killed someone” during a high speed pursuit which continued for more than 11km a court has heard.
Andrew Corbett, aged 20, who has an address at The Orchards, Caherconlish, pleaded guilty, at Limerick District Court, to a charge of dangerous driving relating to an incident on February 17, last.
He also admitted driving without insurance on the same date.
Sergeant Donal Cronin said the defendant was initially observed by gardai driving a 02-registered Volvo at Main Street, Caherconlish.
He told the court that without warning the defendant “took off at speed” and that a pursuit then took place through a number of rural townlands including Grange East, Caherline and Lombardstown.
Judge Mary Larkin was told Mr Corbett’s driving was ‘appalling’ at times and that he performed a number of manoeuvres which were highly dangerous.
The pursuit only came to an end when the defendant returned to Caherconlish village where he ‘clipped’ a parked car forcing him to stop.
Solicitor John Herbert said his client, who was disqualified last December for separate road traffic offences, panicked when he saw the gardai.
“The previous court case was in his mind and he tried to get away. It was fear that got the better of him, he took off,” he said.
Mr Herbert said the youth had driven in a loop around Caherconlish resulting in the pursuit ending a short distance from where it started.
The court heard the defendant, who is currently particpating in a Safe Pass course, comes from a “stable decent background” and he accepts his actions were the “height of stupidity and foolishness” .
He submitted they may have arisen as a result of the “negative influence” of his peer group.
Despite the fact that Mr Corbett was the subject of a suspended prison sentence at the time, Judge Larkin indicated she may not impose a custodial sentence if he is deemed suitable for community service.
She adjourned the matter to October 19, next to facilitate the preparation of a community service report. In doing so, she indicated she is considering a penalty of 120 hours in lieu of three months’ imprisonment.
However, noting his previous convictions and the nature of his driving, she said the defendant has to take responsibility for his actions and she disqualified him from driving for four years.
A number of charges were withdrawn by the State after the defendant entered his guilty pleas.