herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

'I clung to the bonnet of OAP's car then he hit ex garda's bike'

CLAIM: Worker 'in fear of his life' when accused man (78) drove into him

AN elderly motorist is accused of driving into a civil servant and moving off with him on the bonnet of his car, before colliding with an ex-garda, leaving him trapped under his motorcycle with a broken leg.

Retired engineer Thomas Reid (78) allegedly drove with civilian Garda HQ staff member Paul Kehoe clinging to his bonnet "in fear of his life" for 300 metres.

The incident was witnessed by retired garda Harry O'Loughlin, who drove his motorbike after the accused and broke his leg in a collision that happened when Reid braked suddenly, it is alleged.

Reid is denying a series of charges arising from the incidents in Castleknock last year.

The defendant, of Glenville Drive, Clonsilla, is accused of assaulting Mr Kehoe, dangerous driving and four counts of hit and run on January 9, 2009.

Dublin District Court heard the first incident happened at Roselawn Road at 2.25pm.

Swerve

Mr Kehoe said the defendant's Skoda Octavia made a right turn onto the road in front of him, causing him to swerve to avoid collision.

He got out and approached the driver, asking "politely to have a word with him".

He said the accused reversed and drove the car towards him, he thought he would be knocked down and he held onto the bonnet.

He said he was "spreadeagled" there as Reid drove around his car, then continued up the road, "zig-zagging" his car in what Mr Kehoe thought was an attempt to get him off the bonnet.

"If I had fallen off the car he would have driven over me and I tell you I was in fear of my life," Mr Kehoe said.

He said the accused stopped after 300 metres and drove on after Mr Kehoe jumped off.

In cross-examination, he denied being the "aggressor", telling Reid he was an off-duty garda and demanding that he pull over.

Mr O'Loughlin (67) said he saw the accused swerving violently from side to side with Mr Kehoe on the bonnet and noted Reid's registration.

Mr Kehoe was off the car by the time he caught up and he spoke briefly with him before driving on to Castleknock Road.

Screeching

He sounded his horn to try to get Reid's attention.

When they came to the crest of the hill at the bridge over the Royal Canal, he heard a screeching of tyres as the accused braked ahead of him.

He braked hard but slammed into the back of the accused, who drove off, he said.

He was trapped under his 1000cc bike, with his right femur broken in two places.

The defendant said in evidence Mr Kehoe had pulled up beside him and shouted aggressively: "Pull over. I'm an off-duty garda."

He said Mr Kehoe then got out, stood in front of him and repeated the demand, before moving to the side.

He also said Mr O'Loughlin had a conversation with Mr Kehoe and they appeared to know each other.

He was "petrified" and the way ahead was clear.

As he reversed, he said, Mr Kehoe spreadeagled himself on his bonnet.

Mr Reid said he only moved the car back and forward for five metres three times until Mr Kehoe slid off the bonnet.

He said he then drove off and that Mr O'Loughlin followed.

At one point he lost sight of him, then, when slowing down at lights he heard a bump, looked back and saw Mr O'Loughlin on the road, raising himself on his elbow.

He was "terrified" and continued driving.

The case continues before Judge Catherine Murphy.

aphelan@herald.ie

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