herald

Sunday 17 November 2019

Road rage driver 'crushed' bike then drove over it again

Matthew Drennan was found guilty of dangerous driving
Matthew Drennan was found guilty of dangerous driving

An angry motorist "crushed" a bicycle with his car, backed up and drove over it a second time, when the cyclist tried to get past him as he was stopped at traffic lights.

Aviation analyst Matthew Drennan (24) then sped away from the scene, a court heard.

Judge Paula Murphy found him guilty of dangerous driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

She fined him €450, banned him from driving for two years and ordered him to pay €300 in compensation to the cyclist, Eoin Payne.

Pleading not guilty, Drennan, of Poddle Park, Dublin 12, claimed Mr Payne was confrontational and tried to rip his wing mirror off, and he panicked and drove away.

Mr Payne said he was cycling at Fr Matthew Bridge in Dublin city centre on November 20, 2018 and Drennan's car was stopped at a red light in front.

Mr Payne went to get past him on the left to get a "good start" and gave a "light knock" on the window to ask him to move.

He said he gave Drennan a "smile and a thumbs-up". The accused looked away, so he gestured again and Drennan rolled down the window and said "what?" in a "combative and confrontational" manner.

Terrified

When he asked to get past, Drennan said: "Just wait behind, I'm faster than you."

Mr Payne said "what is your problem", but denied swearing.

He tried to get past and Drennan "drove over the bike, crushing the front wheel".

Mr Payne jumped out of the way, swiped at the car and tried the door, but it was locked.

The accused backed up and drove over his bike a second time going "deeper" and causing more damage, he said.

Drennan then sped off when the light turned green. Mr Payne denied trying to rip the wing mirror off Drennan's car.

Drennan claimed Mr Payne was the first to become confrontational.

He said the cyclist banged on his window, made hand gestures and screamed "what's your f**king problem" when Drennan told him he could not move as he had no room.

He claimed Mr Payne pushed his way through, threatened to rip the mirror off and "went for" the door.

He said he did not know he had made contact with the bike when he drove off "terrified" and went straight to Crumlin Garda Station.

Recognisances were set in the event of an appeal.

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