Clondalkin man drove truck onto path directly at pedestrian

by Padraig Conlon

A man who drove his truck onto a path directly at a pedestrian he just had a verbal exchange with has been remanded on bail pending sentence next April.

Wayne Kelly (32) told gardaí he had 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 man had leaned in his window and had threatened to kill him.

He said Mr Adams had continued chasing up the road shouting at him after he had driven off.

Kelly of Neilstown Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court 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.

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.

He accepted that Kelly had “a certain perception of the incident” which changed after gardaí showed him the CCTV footage.

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.

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 either him or another vehicle.

Mr Comiskey O’Keeffe 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.

He said Kelly had written a letter of apology and had €500 in court as a token of his remorse.

Judge Greally adjourned the case and ordered a probation report to assess Kelly’s suitability for the restorative justice programme.

She said she would also allow Kelly to “amass a more meaningful sum” and noted that the €500 he had in court was “somewhat derisory in terms of what he subjected Mr Adams to”.

The judge suggested to counsel that his client could “multiply that figure by 10 at the very least”, referring to the €500, before she remanded Kelly on continuing bail to April 28, next.

Gda Gilmore told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that Mr Adams reported the incident to gardaí that morning and said he had been walking across an entrance to an industrial estate when a truck accelerated into the junction. He had to “skip out of the way” to avoid being struck.

He said he had shouted back at the driver “are you blind?” and the driver continued to shout back at him.

Mr Adams said he continued walking along the pathway when he heard an engine revving behind him. He turned around to see the truck coming right at him.

He jumped out of the way and could see the driver turn the steering wheel hard to come at him in attempt to knock him down.

A victim impact report said Mr Adams could barely sleep after the incident and was having nightmares and headaches.

He said he was always watching his back when he was walking on the street and was afraid for his girlfriend when she walks their child in the buggy.

Mr Adams said he wanted Kelly to realise that he could have taken a man’s life that day.

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