A man who turned back from a garda checkpoint and took off “at speed” has had his case dismissed after his solicitor argued that he had been arrested ‘without reasonable evidence he had committed a crime’.
Garda Aidan Lenehan told the court that he had been conducting a checkpoint with Gda Healy at Farneyhoogan, on February 14, 2020, at approximately 9.20pm when he observed a white van approaching from Longford.
“Gda Healy raised his hand and the van slowed down, then took off. I followed it and activiated the lights,” said Gda Lenehan.
“The van took off at speed. I have no proof of speed but I struggled to keep up.
“I eventually caught up with him when he stopped and got out and walked away from the vehicle.”
The man who walked away from the vehicle was Gareth Kenna, with an address at 2 Drumheath Grove, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15. Gda Lenehan explained that the man was known to him.
“I called to him and told him my observation,”Gda Lenehan explained, adding that when he searched the man, he discovered a set of car keys and, on pressing the button on the key, the locking system on the white van was activated.
“He requested to see his son in a house nearby,” said Gda Lenehan.
“I told him he was under arrest. He asked again and I acceded to the request and brought hom over to meet his son and then brought him to Longford Garda Station where he was dealt with and released.”
Following Mr Kenna’s arrest, the van was seized, Gda Lenehan added.
Mr Kenna’s solicitor, Aengus McCarthy, put forward an application for acquittal on the grounds that arrest was effected with no reasonable evidence Mr Kenna had committed a crime, no evidence of a reason for arrest given to him, and no lawful demand to produce his insurance at the scene.
“Did I hear evidence of the guard asking him to produce insurance?” Judge Hughes asked.
“He stopped him and he’s charged on the charge sheet for no insurance but there is no evidence this man was asked to produce his insurance.
“I’ve taken the evidence. It has been contested. The case is dismissed,” he concluded.