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Friday 6 December 2019

'Reckless' motorist who drove at cyclist must pay him €10k

Sean Kearns pleaded guilty
Sean Kearns pleaded guilty

A motorist who deliberately drove at a cyclist on a Dublin road has been given a three-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay his victim €10,000.

CCTV footage shown in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court showed Sean Kearns driving straight at Marcelo Valencia, causing him to crashing off his bicycle on a busy road five years ago.

Golfer

Handing down the sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said Kearns' defence lawyer's reference to his client being a keen golfer "didn't help him".

Kearns (33), of Whitechurch Avenue, Rathfarnham, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Crim- inal Court to endangerment at Drimnagh Road, Crumlin, on August 27, 2014.

His victim suffered minor injuries and has since made a full recovery.

Judge Nolan said that at the very least, Kearns had been "intemperate and reckless".

However, the judge took into account a number of mitigating factors, including that Kearns has worked hard in the intervening years and has a good work history.

Gda Michael Leahy told Elva Duffy, prosecuting, that Mr Valencia was cycling along the road when a car passed by him closely, nearly knocking him down.

Mr Valencia caught up with the car shortly afterwards when it was stopped at red lights and looked through the window.

The court heard Kearns not-iced Mr Valencia looking at him and "got very angry".

The lights went green and he drove straight at the cyclist before driving away.

His car was traced by gardai and, when interviewed, he admitted driving the car at the time, but denied he knocked down Mr Valencia.

He had six previous convictions, including for dangerous driving in 2005.

Depression

A civil claim in relation to the incident was settled out of court.

Keith Spencer, defending, said his client was suffering from depression at the time of the offence.

He said Kearns was a keen golfer who showed great promise in his youth.

After handing down sentence, Judge Nolan observed that "the reference to golf didn't help him".

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