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Thursday 18 July 2019

Off-duty garda saw hit-and-run driver speeding off

Judge Paula Murphy gave Patrick O’Neill a two-month suspended sentence, banned him from driving for four years and fined him €250. Stock photo: Depositphotos
Judge Paula Murphy gave Patrick O’Neill a two-month suspended sentence, banned him from driving for four years and fined him €250. Stock photo: Depositphotos

A HIT-and-run driver who sped off after rear-ending a car at traffic lights was caught after an off-duty garda spotted the incident.

Patrick O'Neill (29) gave gardai several false names and addresses when they stopped him, a court heard.

Judge Paula Murphy gave him a two-month suspended sentence, banned him from driving for four years and fined him €250.

O'Neill, of St Mary's Place, Athlone, Co Westmeath, pleaded guilty to hit-and-run, un- insured and dangerous driving and giving gardai false personal details.

Blanchardstown District Court heard the incident happ-ened in west Dublin last January 10.

Weaving

An off-duty garda saw O'Neill driving a blue Fiat Punto, which struck the rear of another car stopped at traffic lights at a junction on Con Colbert Road, Kilmainham, at 2.10pm. The car drove off at speed, weaving in and out of outbound traffic.

Gardai stopped O'Neill at the Ballyowen slip road on the N4 and he gave them a number of different names and addresses, the court was told.

He was arrested and taken to Lucan Garda Station, where his real name was discovered.

O'Neill was already serving a sentence for other offences when he appeared in court.

Defence solicitor Margaret McEvilly asked Judge Murphy to reduce the charge to careless driving, but she refused.

The judge said, however, that the dangerous driving was at "the lower end" and suspended the prison sentence for a year.

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