File photo of a garda car
A man, who reversed a tractor into a Garda patrol car on New Years day, has been jailed for two years.
Shane Mulligan, with addresses at Ballinakill, Enfield and 127 Brayton Park, Kilcock, was jailed for six months consecutively on each of four offences - two years in total - at Kilcock District Court sitting held in Naas last Tuesday, November 7.
David Powderly, solicitor, representing Mr Mulligan, said his client was pleading guilty to a number of offences.
Mr Mulligan has already spent some time in custody and told the Court of his jail experience: “It's hard. I've never seen anything like it.”
The Court was told that on New Year's Day last, at around 1.30am, Gardai came across a blue tractor travelling on the wrong side of the road in the Kilcock area.
When they came near to it, the tractor started to reverse towards them, and damaged the bonnet of the patrol car while the Gardai were still in it.
There were five charges of dangerous driving as a result of that occasion, as well as criminal damage to the patrol car.
The tractor drove off, and Gardai continued to try and stop it, but at different places including Ballycahan, Kilbride, and Newtown, Kilcock, it went to reverse into them again, and they had to try and avoid it.
At one point they left the patrol car to avoid injury.
Mr Mulligan abandoned the tractor in Enfield village.
“It was not a nice way to welcome in the New Year,” Judge Desmond Zaidan commented.
Mr Mulligan also pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath test, but the Court heard that he was insured to drive.
Mr Powderly said the events were alcohol related.
“He was definitely under the weather. He remembers little about it,” said the solicitor.
Judge Zaidan said: “This was a frightening experience for the Gardai.”
Another Garda said that when a doctor was called to the Garda Station to do the tests, Mr Mulligan complained of chest pains.
The Court heard that on October 9 this year, Gardai visited Mr Mulligan's family home to look for him.
He threatened the life of a Garda and his family after becoming aggressive and damaged the patrol car, for which he received a six month sentence.
Mr Mulligan also got six months for assaulting the mother of his child at Enfield on September 29 last.
He dragged her out of a car and punched her in the face in the presence of their three year-old child.
Judge Zaidan was told that at one point, the woman, withdrew a statement of evidence against Mr Mulligan's behaviour.
Mr Powderly said that Mr Mulligan had difficulties at school with undiagnosed dyslexia.
He said there was also a hint that other childhood difficulties were not diagnosed.
When he left school, he worked as a plasterer and was not dependent on the State.
Mr Powderly said his client had a very good family and they had tried to help him as far as they could.
“He has put a lot of people in danger,” said the solicitor, who added that Mr Mulligan's family were “heartbroken.”