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Ballyfermot dad-of-six who drove car ‘as weapon’ at man avoids prison term

Francis Dunne (36) was lucky he did not kill the man or himself when he drove the car at him following a family disagreement

Francis Dunne was charged with affray and reckless endangerment

Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

A father-of-six “used his car as a weapon” when he drove it at a man who had smashed his windscreen, narrowly missing him and crashing into a wall.

Francis Dunne (36) was lucky he did not kill the man or himself when he drove the car at him following a family disagreement, a judge said.

Dunne was given a nine-month suspended sentence, banned from driving for five years and fined €3,000.

The accused, of Elmdale Crescent, Ballyfermot, admitted affray with the other man and recklessly endangering him by driving a car at him, causing “substantial risk of death or serious harm”.

He also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance.

Dublin District Court heard the offences happened at Sarsfield Road, Ballyfermot at 7.30am on December 4, 2020.

The other man allegedly smashed the windscreen of Dunne’s Volkswagen Caddy and the accused got into the car and “went after” the man, driving the car at him and narrowly missing him, crashing into a wall.

He then got into a fight with the man

, who was a “cousin-in-law of sorts” and the disagreement was a family matter, culminating in the fight, a garda sergeant said.

The accused had previous motoring convictions.

The man had gone to Dunne’s home and broken the window, causing “quite a bit of damage,” his lawyer said.

The accused had apologised. He worked as a painter, was in employment since Covid restrictions lifted and his family was dependent on his income, his lawyer said.

“Driving a car at a person with a view to using that car as a weapon is a very serious matter,” Judge Hughes said.

Regardless of the “genesis” of the incident, it was “unacceptable” for Dunne to act in this fashion and he was lucky he did not kill the man or himself, the judge said.

He suspended the nine-month sentence for two years on condition he has no contact with the other man.


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