By Declan Brennan
A car thief who injured a garda when he twice rammed a patrol car to get away from gardai has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Trevor Brown (40) reversed the stolen pick-up truck at speed at the parked patrol car, pinning the leg of Garda David Lewis between the vehicles, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
In a letter of apology written to the court, Brown claimed that he was “reversing slowly”. Judge Patricia Ryan said this was “at variance with the evidence”.
Gda Lewis told Monica Leech BL, prosecuting, that on the afternoon of May 7, 2022, a report was received of the theft of a traffic management vehicle at Faussagh Avenue in Cabra, North Dublin.
The jeep had a tracker, and the owners were able to track the Isuzu Jeep to Dubber Cross, St Margaret’s in Finglas, near the M5. The owners notified gardai, and Garda Lewis and his colleague Garda Louise Moran travelled to the location in a patrol car and found the stolen jeep parked up with a man in the driver seat.
Garda Lewis said he positioned the patrol car to block the car from moving off, and Garda Lewis said he got out to approach the driver. He said the driver, later identified as Brown, reversed the jeep at speed, ramming the passenger side of the patrol car.
Garda Lewis told the court that his leg was pinned between the vehicles, and Lewis then reversed a second time, revving the car engine up in first gear in an attempt to escape. The court heard the pickup became stuck in an electricity box which had live wires in it, and gardai pulled Brown from the vehicle and arrested him.
Brown resisted arrest and assaulted the two gardai during the arrest. Gda Moran suffered a cut to her hand, while Gda Lewis suffered swelling and bruising to his leg, cuts to his left shin and muscle soreness to one shoulder.
Both gardai were certified unfit for duty for some time after the assaults.
Brown of Dermot O’Dwyer House, Dublin City Centre, pleaded guilty to creating a serious risk of harm by driving dangerously at Meakstown Cottages, Finglas on May 7, 2022. He also pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting a police officer and one charge of stealing a car at Fassaugh Ave., Cabra West on May 7, 2022.
His 165 previous convictions include 58 for theft, 41 under the Road Traffic Act, eight for criminal damage and two for car theft.
Patrick McCarthy, BL, defending, told the court that his client was extremely apologetic and during his garda interview, he asked about the injured gardai and said, “I hope everyone is ok”.
Counsel said Brown had a history of drug addiction, but since going into custody, he has engaged in drug treatment and is doing well.
Passing sentence, Judge Patricia Ryan said this court has the benefit of a probation report, two victim impact statements, a letter from Brown’s mother, a governor’s report and his list of previous convictions.
Judge Ryan said a car was rammed into a patrol car not once but twice, with the two gardaí suffering both physical and psychological injuries.
The judge said she would consider Brown’s guilty plea, his time already spent in custody, efforts to rehabilitate and expression of remorse as mitigating factors in this case.
Judge Ryan sentenced Brown to two and a half years for the unlawful taking of a car and five years for the assault on a police officer, with the final year suspended under strict conditions. Both sentences will run concurrently and are backdated from when he went into custody on this matter.
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