Man charged in Garda car ramming by a van containing six young children including a five-month-old
The 35-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Cork District Court where he was also charged with false imprisonment
A man was charged with a total of nine offences arising from an incident in Cork where three Garda patrol cars were rammed by a van which contained six young children, the youngest of which was just five months old.
The 35-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Cork District Court charged with a variety of offences ranging from dangerous driving and criminal damage to false imprisonment and failure to supply a test sample at the Bridewell Garda Station.
The false imprisonment charge relates to the man's partner at Carr's Hill, in Cork.
It is also alleged the man breached a protection order under the Domestic Violence Act, thereby leaving his partner in fear that she and her children would be harmed or killed.
The man was arrested following a major garda operation on Wednesday evening which was launched when a van was spotted driving erratically on the main Dublin-Cork motorway outside Fermoy shortly after 9pm.
Concerned motorists had raised the alarm with Gardaí.
Over a 40km trek, three garda patrol cars were rammed in the general Mahon area and the van was only successfully stopped when members of the armed Regional Support Unit (RSU) deployed a 'stinger' device near Carr's Hill.
Three Garda patrol cars were seriously damaged during the incident.
Judge Colm Roberts was told it will be alleged that the van the defendant was driving was occupied by his partner and six children.
The children ranged in age from 10 years down to just five months.
Judge Roberts was told that, after being arrested, cautioned and charged by gardaí, the man replied: "No comment to nine charges."
The court heard that as a result of the ramming incidents, two gardaí had to be taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for medical treatment.
Gardaí outlined the circumstances of the alleged incident involved and said officers attempted to stop a van on the approach to Mahon late on Wednesday evening amid concerns over the nature of driving involved.
It is alleged the vehicle then rammed several garda vehicles - twice ramming a SUV operated by the armed Regional Support Unit (RSU).
The van then allegedly drove at speed the wrong way down a ramp onto the busy N40 ring road around Cork city.
It is also alleged the speeding van drove the wrong way around a busy roundabout and was only stopped on Carr's Hill when gardaí deployed a special 'stinger' device to puncture its tyres and immobilise the vehicle.
A total of five vehicles were damaged during the incident.
The defendant was arrested at the scene and taken to the Bridewell Garda Station for questioning under the Criminal Justice Act.
He now faces a total of three counts of dangerous driving on September 28, three counts of causing criminal damage to garda patrol vehicles, one count of false imprisonment and one count of failing to comply with a request to supply an oral liquid sample for testing on suspicion of drink driving when requested at the Bridewell Garda Station, contrary to the Road Traffic Act.
Garda Paul Dromey said the State was objecting to bail in the case and seeking a remand in custody given the serious nature of the charges involved.
In evidence to the court, Garda Dromey said the defendant had made "serious and very violent efforts to evade arrest" on Wednesday evening.
He said the nature of the incident involved had put the defendant's own life at risk - as well as the lives of his family, other road users and members of An Garda Síochana.
Gardaí said they had a concern the defendant might attempt to intimidate his partner and family if granted bail.
There was also a concern that, if granted bail, the defendant may not appear in court to face the charges.
Judge Roberts refused bail and remanded the defendant in ongoing custody.
He ordered that he appear again, via videolink, before Cork District Court on October 6, next.
The court was told the case is being given the utmost priority by gardaí with a large team of detectives and uniformed officers now assigned to it.
It is hoped that instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will be delivered by next month.
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