Student who deliberately drove at a group of revellers in Limerick faces jail

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

John Doocey, aged 22,  of Lisdeen, Kilkee has admitted a charge of endangerment relating to an incident at Mungret Street

John Doocey, aged 22, of Lisdeen, Kilkee has admitted a charge of endangerment relating to an incident at Mungret Street

A YOUNG man who deliberately drove at a group of revellers in Limerick - injuring one of them - is due to begin a lengthy prison sentence this week.

John Doocey, aged 22, of Lisdeen, Kilkee has admitted a charge of endangerment relating to an incident at Mungret Street in the city centre on November 4, 2015.

Imposing a two year prison sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell commented what happened was “an appalling incident which could have had fatal consequences”.

During an earlier sentencing hearing, Garda Dave Barry said the defendant had travelled from Kilrush into the city earlier in night but had been refused entry to a number of nightclubs as he did not have ID.

Shortly before 3am, an argument erupted between Doocey and a number of other young people near a takeaway at Denmark Street.

When the the victim - a student at UL - left the area he observed a Red Volkswagen Polo car being driven by the accused in his direction. Doocey then got out of the car and attempted to strike him with a wheel brace.

The accused man then drove off but returned to the area a short time later and drove at a group of students which included the defendant.

The young man sustained significant injuries including a fractured knee, a chipped kneecap and various bruises and cuts.

“Witnesses saw him (the victim) fly through the air,” said Garda Barry who said the incident was also captured on the garda CCTV system.

Following the incident Doocey left the scene but was stopped in Clarecastle, County Clare later in the night.

He was subsequently convicted of a drink-driving offence at Ennis District Court.

Barrister Pat Whyms said a lot of alcohol had been consumed “on all sides” and that his client was insured and that a civil claim is being processed “in the usual way”.

He said his client decided to start drinking in his car after he was refused entry to the clubs and that the initial “argy bargy” had escalated.

Mr Whyms said Doocey accepts he drove at the students but did so believing they would get out of the way.

“That didn’t happen,” he said adding his client had fled the scene as he was in shock and had panicked.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the defendant - a father of two young children - is studying in an engineering field and that he has not taken alcohol or drugs on over a year.

Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell said the intentional nature of the defendant’s actions was an aggravating factor. ”It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

He noted the accused man’s alcohol abuse had spiraled out of control around the time of the offence but that his life now “appears to be back on track”.

He said he had to impose a custodial sentence in the circumstances and he directed Doocey to present himself at Limerick Prison by 12 midday on January 4.