'heightened emotions' | 

Forklift driver accused of causing ‘life-long deformities’ to Garda’s finger granted bail

He is accused of assault causing harm to the injured officer and theft of two cans of the Red Bull soft drink worth €6 from a shop.

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Tom TuiteSunday World

A FORKLIFT driver accused of causing permanent and “life-long lasting deformities” to a garda’s finger following a traffic stop in Dublin has been granted €1,500 bail.

Gardai responded to a call about a driving incident at Gulliver’s Retail Park, Ballymun, at approximately 11:30 am on Saturday.

Mercedes driver Daniel Quinn, 32, with an address at Farnham Drive, Finglas Ballymun Garda station, was arrested and charged.

He was held pending his appearance before Judge Treasa Kelly at Dublin District Court yesterday.

He is accused of assault causing harm to the injured officer and theft of two cans of the Red Bull soft drink worth €6 from a shop.

He was also charged with dangerous driving, criminal damage to a roadside steel bollard allegedly hit by the defendant’s Mercedes, and a garda station cell door and blanket with urine.

The wounded officer was taken to James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.

Mr Quinn applied for bail, which was opposed by investigating officer Garda Sergeant Aidan Monaghan.

The sergeant cited the seriousness of the incident and alleged the accused was caught red-handed assaulting an officer on duty. He furnished the court with photos of the injury, which he described as “life-long lasting deformities to his finger”.

The sergeant later described the injuries as permanent and said their full extent was unknown.

The court heard other gardai witnessed the incident, and there was CCTV evidence.

It was alleged that the accused hit a bollard and failed a roadside drug drive test which had results for cocaine, cannabis and benzodiazepine.

He conceded that if the court granted bail, he would seek conditions.

Defence solicitor Tracy Horan argued that the threshold had not been reached to deny bail, and she said the State was on “shaky ground” while her client had the presumption of innocence.

Judge Kelly held with the defence and set bail in the defendant’s bond of €500, of which €300 must be lodged.

Furthermore, she sought a €1,000 independent surety.

The sergeant clashed with the defence about the bail money and a Garda station where the accused would sign on. He cited other cases involving alleged attacks on gardai where bail was set at €10,000.

In reply, however, Ms Horan argued that was not correct case law and that the court had to consider the defendant’s means.

The court heard the accused worked as a forklift driver but had been off sick and getting social welfare since before Christmas.

She also said that there were “a lot of heightened emotions”.

The court heard he was due to return to work and earn €450 a week.

The sergeant claimed Mr Quinn had three cars, an Audi, a BMW and a Mercedes, which was the subject of this case.

Ms Horan told the court she was flabbergasted at this evidence and added that it had not been brought to her attention before. Mr Quinn interjected and told the court some of the cars had been scrapped.

During the exchanges, the sergeant said it was expected that the DPP would direct trial on indictment in a higher court.

The assault offence can carry a maximum five-year term, but the court heard that further charges could be brought.

The sergeant also told the court that the driving had caused serious risk of harm to members of the public.

The defence told the judge the accused’s partner, who was in court, was heavily pregnant; she intended to stand bail. He would reside with her at an address in Northwood, Santry, in north Dublin.

Judge Kelly did not change the bail amount and ordered the accused to sign on daily at Finglas Garda station, not drive any motor vehicle, reside at the new address provided to the court and surrender his passport.

She remanded him in custody with consent to bail on these terms to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Wednesday.

Mr Quinn, who has yet to indicate a plea, was granted legal aid.


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