02 Jul 2022

Longford man drove at patrol car with two Gardaí inside

Longford man drove  at patrol car with two Gardaí inside

A man charged with endangering the lives of two Gardaí after driving head-on towards their patrol car is to reappear for sentencing in October.

Stephen Maughan, 41 Grian Ard, Ardnacassa, Longford, appeared at a recent sitting of Longford Circuit Court, where Judge Keenan Johnson heard details of the incident.

On September 12, 2017, the court heard that Garda Shane Carr took up patrol duty and observed a vehicle driving erratically from Main Street Edgeworthstown, through traffic lights and onto the old Longford road.

“He performed a U-turn at Kane’s filling station, drove through red lights, noticed us and sped away,” Gda Carr told the court.

The sirens and blue lights of the patrol car were activated and Gardaí followed the offending vehicle at a safe distance.

“He performed a U-turn and drove directly at the patrol car. Then the vehicle made its way to the old Longford road again at speeds of 100km/hr in a 50km zone, swinging from side to side,” said Gda Carr.

“He made his way to the entrance of a housing estate and made another handbrake turn and then went to the bottom of the estate and performed another handbrake turn before getting stuck in the grass.

“We exited the patrol car and asked him to turn the engine off. There was a smell of drink off his breath.”

The court heard that Mr Maughan became abusive and threatening towards Gardaí as they were attempting arrest.

Mr Maughan was arrested and a certificate of analysis was obtained, which returned a reading of 150mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

He was charged at a later date with four counts of dangerous driving, no insurance, no licence and drunk driving.

Mr Maughan’s defence barrister acceded that his client was “caught redhanded and very much worse for wear” but stated he has changed his ways and is now a “caring individual” and a “family man”.

“Dangerous driving and endangerment of Gardaí are very serious offences,” said Judge Johnson on hearing the evidence.

“He drove his car at the patrol car which had to take evasive action. He was abusive, threatened to throw punches and behaved in an appalling manner. He was a danger to himself and to other road users.”

He went on to describe Mr Maughan as “a Jekyll and Hyde type character”.

“He’s a fine, law-abiding citizen when he’s sober, but a complete pest when he’s not. But it has been mentioned to a certain extent that efforts for rehabilitation have begun,” he said.

With that, he adjourned sentencing to October on the condition that Mr Maughan enters into a bail bond of €500 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

He is also to engage with the probation service, remain intoxicant free and engage with all appropriate addiction treatment.

When he reappears in October, Mr Maughan is likely to be sentenced to three years in prison, with a portion of that sentence suspended should Judge Johnson be furnished with a positive probation report.

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