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29 Jan 2022

Fine for man in car that did wheelies in green of Longford estate

Fine for man in car that did wheelies in green of Longford estate

A man charged with a public order offence, who was in breach of his Circuit Court bail conditions, has been fined €250 with three months to pay.

Eamon Stokes, 44 Cluain na Sibhe, Killashee, Co Longford, appeared before last week’s sitting of Longford District Court on foot of a bench warrant, executed by Gda Karl Foley.

Gda Foley explained that there were a number of bail conditions entered into on November 29, 2020, and that gardaí carried out a number of curfew checks, finding that Mr Stokes was not present at his home on several dates between December and January.

Gda Foley listed five such incidents, including December 2, at 11.04pm, December 9 at 12.40am, December 26 at 10.40pm and 11.20pm, January 17 at 12.33am and January 24 at 11.45pm.

Mr Stokes also faced a public order charge from November 11, 2020, when at 2am in Lana Aoibheann, he was arrested by gardaí.

Gda Foley explained that he was on mobile patrol when he received reports over the radio that Longford Roads Policing Unit had encountered a silver Volkswagen Passat that had driven at speed and failed to stop for gardaí.

“I made my way to Lana Aoibheann estate and observed the patrol car with lights on pursuing the car. I pursued with lights on,” Gda Foley told the court.

“I observed the car driving around the green area. It entered into the grass to evade gardaí and did wheelies in the grass. It went on for 10 or 15 minutes. We had three patrol cars so every exit was blocked.

“We didn’t know what we were going to encounter or if there would be weapons. On top of that, about 20 people had come out to view and video the incident.”

When the car stopped, Gda Foley said he approached and roared at the occupants to get out.

“The driver was pulled out. He was a minor with no licence. There were two other occupants. My attention was drawn to Eamon Stokes in the passenger seat. He initially pretended to be asleep,” said Gda Foley.

“He was taken out of the vehicle and he started to encounter abuse from bystanders who started shouting abuse at him and at us. There was roaring and shouting on both sides and Mr Stokes attempted to get up and have a go at these people.”

Gda Foley explained that the grass had been ploughed up but that this was the height of the damage. Three people were arrested - two of which were minors. Files are being prepared for the DPP in their cases.

Judge Hughes, having heard the evidence, proceeded to fine Mr Stokes €250, which was paid in court last week.

“If the general public view my sentence, they might ask why it is so light,” said Judge Hughes.

“I’m not sentencing him for being in the car. It will be a different story for the driver.”

Sgt Mahon explained that Mr Stokes was on a suspended sentence when he committed this offence but Judge Hughes said that he didn’t think Judge Keenan Johnson in the Circuit Court would revoke bail on hearing the facts of this case.

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