A man who drove his truck onto a path directly at a pedestrian he just had a verbal exchange with has been given a three-year suspended sentence.
Wayne Kelly (33) initially told gardaí he brought his truck up onto the path to avoid other cars and his intention was to go back and talk to Peter Adams (38) following their earlier exchange.
He denied that he had tried to knock the man down and claimed that when he had returned to Mr Adams that the man had leaned in his window and had threatened to kill him.
However, Kelly’s “perception of the incident” changed after gardaí showed him CCTV footage of his actions on the day in question three years ago, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
Kelly, of Neilstown Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty to endangerment at Ninth Lock Road, Clondalkin on May 24, 2017.
His nine previous convictions include public order, trespass with a knife, criminal damage and assault causing harm.
At a sentence hearing earlier this year, Garda David Gilmore agreed with Paul Comiskey O’Keeffe BL, defending, that his client presented himself at the station on the day of the incident before gardaí had nominated him as a suspect.
Mr Comiskey O’Keeffe told Judge Melanie Greally his client had suddenly decided to come off a pain killer he had been relying on for an injury to his ankle around that time. His doctor has since suggested that a side effect of such a withdrawal could have caused Kelly “to be quick to anger”.
Judge Greally said she may have given “some credence” to that suggestion were it not for Kelly’s previous convictions before she added that she didn’t think his involvement in these other offences “could be laid at the door of withdrawal from the medication”.
Mr Comiskey O’Keeffe said his client now relied on hypnotherapy and mindfulness to deal with chronic pain.
He said his client accepted that he was lucky the road was clear at the time and understood that he not only exposed Mr Adams to danger but also put the general public at risk.
Judge Greally described Kelly’s driving as “an absolute outrage” and said he had exposed Mr Adams to danger on two fronts, driving at him on the path and chasing him into traffic on a busy road.
She said he was fortunate that Mr Adams was not struck by his truck or another vehicle.
Sentencing Kelly today, Judge Greally said he has made great strides in the three years since the incident. She noted he has been sober for three years and has engaged in restorative justice, apologising to his victim both verbally and via email.
Kelly had a sum of €3000 in court as a token of remorse for Mr Adams, who was also in court for sentencing.
“Notwithstanding the very serious nature of the offence, I’m minded not to impose an immediate custodial sentence,” Judge Greally said.
She accepted Kelly was remorseful and she took into account a number of mitigating factors including the fact he has not come to adverse garda attention since the offence, runs a successful business and has a family of four children.
The judge handed down a sentence of three years and suspended it on a number of conditions.