By Brion Hoban
A man who broke a fellow motorist’s nose as a result of “road rage” has received a fully suspended sentence.
Dylan King (27) performed a u-turn in order to follow the victim, pulled open the victim’s car door when he was stopped at a junction and punched him in the face.
King of Longdale Terrace, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Hazelwood Terrace, Ballymun, on March 5, 2019. He has previous convictions for road traffic offences.
Garda John Fitzpatrick told Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, Gary O’Donovan was driving in the Ballymun area when he had to pull slightly across into the opposite lane to avoid an obstacle on the road.
Gda Fitzpatrick said King was passing in the oncoming traffic at the time and slammed on his brakes and beeped his horn as Mr O’Donovan crossed into his lane. King then did a u-turn and followed Mr O’Donovan’s car.
When Mr O’Donovan was stopped at a junction, King pulled alongside him and got out of his car. He opened the driver-side door of the victim’s car, said “are you getting smart?” and punched him once in the face.
King then returned to his car, did another u-turn and drove away from the scene.
Mr O’Donovan sustained a broken nose as a result of the assault which needed an operation. He also sustained a fracture above his right eye-socket.
In interview with gardaí, King made full admissions to the assault. He said he had had an argument earlier that day with his mother regarding debts the family owed to the city council and as a result he got a case of “road rage” when the victim’s car swerved in front of him.
Gda Fitzpatrick agreed with James O’Brien BL, defending, that his client explained to gardaí his family were under threat of eviction due to the debts they owed. He agreed his client was remorseful during the interview.
Mr O’Brien said his client lost his job as a result of this offence. He said his client has been trying to address his own difficulties and has been attending with local mental health services.
Judge Melanie Greally said the accused had a “hugely chaotic and dysfunctional youth”. She said he was raised “in circumstances of criminality, addiction and violence”.
Judge Greally noted that King’s father had died violently five months prior to the incident. She described the accused as “a bright young man with potential” and said he is prepared to address his mental health issues and addiction to cannabis.
She sentenced King to two years imprisonment, but suspended the entirety of the sentence on strict conditions.
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