Driver drove through Garda checkpoint receives two month suspended sentence

By Brendan Grehan

A DRIVER who drove through a garda checkpoint in Clondalkin without insurance and was pursued by the gardai down the M50 until Bray, received a two-month suspended sentence in Blanchardstown District Court.

Judge Brian O’Shea suspended Marius Ghitiou’s sentence on condition that he doesn’t drive a car for a year. Ghitiou was also banned from driving for two years.

blanchardstown courthouse

Blanchardstown District Court

Ghitiou’s counsel, Jennifer Jackson BL, claimed her client had only chosen to drive without insurance to the shops as he had been attacked a week before in Bawnogue by a group of youths.

Ghitiou, aged 38, with an address at  Lindisfarne Vale, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to having no insurance and dangerous driving at Fonthill Road, Clondalkin, on June 19, 2018.

He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at the Naas Road, the M50 Southbound, Clondalkin, and the M11, Bray, all on the above date.

Sergeant Maria Callaghan told the court that at 10.30pm on June 19 last, the gardai were operating a checkpoint on the Fonthill Road when they saw a black VW Golf approach the checkpoint.

She said the Golf slowed down and then drove through the checkpoint at speed and then it continued onto Newlands Cross where it turned onto the Naas Road.

Sgt Callaghan said the gardai were following the car but it failed to stop.

She said as Ghitiou drove onto the M50 he swerved at a garda car causing them to take evasive action.

Sgt Callaghan said Ghitiou continued driving down the M50, constantly braking suddenly before he was forced to stop at the M11 at Bray due to the amount of traffic.

She said Ghitiou had no previous for road traffic offences but he had been fined €150 from Court 6 on February 15, 2018, for breaching the peace.

Ms Jackson said Ghitiou had been living in Ireland for the last two years and had come from Romania.

She said that a week before the incident he had walked to the shops in Bawnogue and was attacked by a group of youths.

Ms Jackson said he had not reported the incident to the gardai.

She said Ghitiou had been going to the shops and decided to take a chance when he drove without insurance. She said he panicked when he saw the checkpoint and had intended to purchase insurance.

Judge O’Shea said the case was the “middle of the range” for cases of its type.

He fined Ghitiou €200 with a two-year ban for having no insurance and sentenced him to two months imprisonment, suspended for a year with a two –year ban for the dangerous driving at Fonthill Road.

He said he was suspending the sentence on the proviso that Ghitiou doesn’t drive a car for a year.

The remaining dangerous driving charges were taken into consideration.

He warned Ghitiou that if he did drive within the next year, he could face going to jail for two months.

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