A CHEF was before Bantry District court to answer numerous charges of dangerous driving and driving without insurance.
Mady Dembele (39) came to the attention of gardaí when he was stopped and failed to produce a valid insurance cert on Sunday, July 17th.
Garda Joe Tippins told the court that Dembele has seven separate charges to answer, following an incident that took place on Wednesday, October 20th at Lisnacunna, Enniskeane.
As Garda Tippins approached Dembele, whose address is Mary Ann’s, Castletownshend, the driver was sitting in his car, but he suddenly took off at high speed.
Garda Tippins pursued the accused, who continued at speed, on a narrow road, forcing an on coming car off the road into a ditch to avoid collision.
The pursuit continued for over 10 minutes, for almost 20kms, with Dembele forcing another four cars to drive into ditches to avoid colliding with him.
Dembele also drove through a crossroads outside Enniskeane at speed, without stopping or taking care of oncoming traffic.
Garda Tippins also told the court that on one occasion Dembele slammed on his brakes, almost forcing a collision with the pursuing Garda car.
‘These are extremely narrow roads, and it was the worst driving I have seen in years,’ Garda Tippins said.
The chase finally came to an end at Knockskagh, Enniskeane, when Dembele stopped his car and fled on foot. He was however, located soon afterwards and charged with dangerous driving.
Garda Tippins told the court that when asked why he drove off, Mady Dembele stated that he panicked because he had no insurance. At the garda station, he gave a different name when first interviewed. Dembele has no previous convictions.
Flor Murphy, solicitor for the accused, said that his client was pleading guilty to seven charges of dangerous driving and said that Mady Dembele was in a blind panic because he had no insurance.
‘He has been working in Ireland for over four years and his employer is here with him today. Fortunately no one was injured and he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity,’ Mr Murphy said.
Recording Dembele’s guilty plea, Judge James McNulty issued the following verdicts, first for driving without insurance on July 19th 2020.
Dembele was fined €500, given 12 months to pay and disqualified from driving for two years.
On the second charge of driving without insurance Judge McNulty again fined him €500 with 12 months to pay and disqualified him for four years.
For dangerous driving at the crossroads, the judge fined him another €500 with 12 months to pay and once more disqualified him from driving, this time for five years.
However, on the remaining counts of dangerous driving, Judge McNulty convicted the accused but deferred penalty for 12 months.
‘This will allow him the opportunity firstly to pay his fines and to abide by his court orders,’ Judge McNulty said.
‘For driving like this, the court would have a custodial sentence in mind, imprisonment for him would be difficult at this time, but if all goes well in 12 months’ time and if his fines are paid, you might, Mr Murphy, persuade the court to suspend the sentence.’
Mady Dembele was remanded on continuing bail to appear before the court again on October 28th next year, 2021.