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skid row Dangerous driver who did a handbrake turn was 'showing off to buddy', says judge


Brian Gillen was banned from driving for one year

Brian Gillen was banned from driving for one year

Brian Gillen was banned from driving for one year

A DANGEROUS driver who did a handbrake turn at a roundabout and then lost control of his car, spinning it 180 degrees, has been banned from the road for a year.

Brian Gillen (24) claimed he had a slow puncture on a back tyre and that's why he lost control of the vehicle.

As well as a driving ban, Judge Dermot Dempsey also fined Gillen €400.

The defendant, of Glen Ellan Park in Swords, was found guilty of dangerous driving at the R132 Swords Road on December 28 last year.

Gillen had pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of careless driving, which does not carry a mandatory disqualification. However, Judge Dempsey refused to reduce the charge, saying the defendant was "showing off to his buddy" and this was a clear case of dangerous driving.

Garda Aidan Fogarty told Swords District Court he was on patrol around 9pm when he saw two vehicles s northbound on the R132 between the Malahide Road roundabout and Seatown Road roundabout.

Gda Fogarty said Gillen's silver BMW took off and did a handbrake turn at the roundabout. He lost control and spun 180 degrees, ending up facing the wrong way on the roundabout.

Gda Fogarty said the R132 was usually very busy but this incident took place around Christmas and there was no traffic in the area.

In his evidence, Gillen said he had come from Airside. He said he stopped at the roundabout, rolled down the window, pointed his tyre out to his friend, and planned to turn back and go to the petrol station at Mountgorry.

Gillen said the car spun due to the flat tyre and the damp, cold road. He said he did not pull a handbrake turn and in his opinion, he narrowly avoided an accident.

Defence lawyer Deirdre Flannery said Gillen was an electrician and he would lose his job if he was banned.

Judge Dempsey said it was quite clear Gillen took off at speed and was showing off to his buddy.

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