herald

Monday 23 April 2018

Driver jailed after giving inspector 'in hoodie' false name

Michael Mooney has been sentenced to five months in prison
Michael Mooney has been sentenced to five months in prison

A driver failed to give his correct details to a garda inspector, who he claimed was wearing a hoodie, because he "didn't know what to make of the fella".

Michael Mooney (33) also alleged that the senior officer grabbed him by the neck and demanded his car keys.

Insp Oliver Woods said he was in full uniform, driving a marked garda van and Mooney did not ask to see identification.

Judge Dermot Dempsey sentenced Mooney to five months in prison and disqualified him from driving for 12 years.

The defendant, of Ceol Na Mara, Rush, Co Dublin, was found guilty at Swords District Court of driving without insurance or a licence at Chapel Green, Rush, last June 1.

Insp Woods said he stopped the defendant driving a 2003-registered Volvo because the car's lights were off.

Seized

The inspector told the court that Mooney, who had no identification on him, gave him the false name "Michael Graham".

After he failed to produce his insurance documents, the vehicle was seized and Mooney ran from the scene.

Insp Woods said he later called at Mooney's home and was satisfied he was the driver of the car on the day.

In his evidence, Mooney claimed the car was parked up and he was replacing the fuel injectors.

He said he refused to give the inspector his proper details as he did not know he was a garda.

"This fella came up in a cream hoodie and navy trousers and asked my name. I didn't know what to make of him," he said.

"I asked him a few times who he was, but he turned his back."

Finding Mooney guilty, Judge Dempsey said he did not accept his story.

The court heard that the defendant, a father-of-one, had received an eight-year driving ban in 2015.

Mooney immediately appealed the sentence.

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