Garda tells court two men tried to throw him out of moving car

by Gazette Reporter

A garda has denied that the passenger of a car tried to get out of the vehicle rather than attacking him and instead has said that both the man and the driver tried to throw him out of the moving car.

Garda Conor Murray told the trial of the driver Jonathan Coelho (29) and the passenger Federico Carvalho (31) , that the two men repeatedly struck him as he struggled to prevent himself being thrown out of the car.

On the night of July 31 2019 Coelho of Duleek, Co Meath drove at car at speed through red lights and in the wrong direction along busy streets in Dublin city centre before crashing into a lamp post.

The jury at the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court have heard that he has pleaded guilty to a number of charges of dangerous driving at locations around Kevin Street, Dublin 8.

He denies endangerment of Gda Murray, who has described the two occupants of the car pulling him into the passenger side window while the car was moving and assaulting him.

Mr Coelho and Mr Carvalho  of Blessington Street, Dublin pleaded not (NOT) guilty to charges of assault causing harm to Gda Murray  of July 31, 2019 at St Lukes’ Avenue, Dublin 8.

Gda Murray has already told the jury that while hanging half way out of the moving car he managed to pull up the handbrake and slow the vehicle. He said Mr Carvalho then opened his door and both men tried to throw the garda from the vehicle.

He said he managed to wrestle himself away from the passenger and the passenger exited the car. Gda Murray said the driver began repeatedly kicking him as he held on to the door frame.

He said a final kick struck his face and he was thrown from the car.

Gda Murray didn’t accept a suggestion from Oisin Clarke BL, defending Carvalho, that he jumped into the car and Mr Carvalho slouched into his seat because he didn’t know what was going on.

Gda Murray said both Coelho and Carvalho dragged him into the vehicle as it was moving and denied that he jumped in through the window.

He acknowledged that he had grabbed Mr Carvalho by the forearms as it had been his intention to pull him out of the vehicle but instead both men managed to grab him and pull him into the car.

He acknowledged that a further statement he made last May stated that the driver pulled him into the vehicle but said that this was “poorly phrased by me” and “a mistake” before he re-iterated that both the passenger and the driver pulled him into the car.

Gda Murray didn’t accept a suggestion from Mr Clarke that Mr Carvalho “got out of the car of his own steam”.

Gda Murray said both Carvalho and Coelho “wrestled” with him to try and get him out of the car and didn’t accept that Carvalho had instead unbuckled his seat belt and slid out of the car when the door was opened.

He acknowledged that Carvalho can be seen on CCTV footage of the incident “exiting” the car within seconds of the door opening but Gda Murray insisted that there was a struggle before that.

“My instructions are that at no point did he touch you,” Mr Clarke said before he continued that while his client acknowledges that he could have been shouting something in Portuguese during the incident but said that “he would have been saying to stop the vehicle”.

“He categorically denies that he struck at you and that he was instead terrified and his intention was to get out of the vehicle as quickly as possible,” Mr Clarke continued.

Gda Murray said he couldn’t comment on what Mr Carvalho’s intentions were but again insisted that the man assaulted him after both he and Mr Coelho dragged him into the vehicle.

The trial continues before Judge Melanie Greally and a jury.

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