BY OLIVIA KELLEHER
A DAD-of-three crossed over to the wrong side of the road 20 times while drink-driving and then threatened to kill a member of the public who confronted him, a court heard.
Daniel Culhane, who lives at an apartment in Owenahincha engaged, in the dangerous driving for over 2km on a main road near Enniskeane on December 16th. He has been jailed for three years.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard evidence this week from Dt Garda Manus O’Donnell who said that Culhane drove dangerously whilst under the influence of alcohol and while he was disqualified from driving.
Culhane also had no tax, insurance or driving licence at the time.
That morning Culhane caused criminal damage in a SuperValu shop in Dunmanway, by breaking a glass panel on a rear door.
In search of alcohol, he then stole 10 cans of cider from a Centra shop on the New Road in Bandon. Shortly after 10am he got into his car and drove in an erratic fashion on the Bandon to Enniskeane Road.
Dt Garda O’Donnell said that mobile phone footage shot by a passenger in a car behind Culhane showed him crossing to the wrong side of the road 20 times during the drive. He drove erratically in locations around Enniskeane, namely Dromovane, Teadies Lower, Murragh, and Palaceanne.
He said that Culhane, who is a drug user and is also addicted to alcohol, had a baseball bat in his car. He eventually pulled in to a driveway in Teadies Lower where he was confronted by members of the public who had witnessed his dangerous driving.
He threatened to kill one man who confronted him about his behaviour.
The court heard Culhane was ‘shouting, roaring and threatening everyone’ when he was detained by members of the public on the outskirts of Enniskeane prior to being arrested by gardaí at the scene.
Dt Garda O’Donnell said that Culhane, originally from Ballincollig, had no recollection of his car journey. All he could recall was getting the cider in the shop.
The court was told that Culhane was on bail when the offence occurred. He has 53 previous convictions and was disqualified at the time.
Dermot Sheehan, barrister, said that his client had been hooked on heroin and was suffering from an alcohol addiction. He said he was keen to enter a treatment centre for his alcohol issues.
He emphasised that his client wanted to apologise to the people who came across him and understood it was ‘serious and wrong’. He said that his client had taken tablets and that while he was over the limit, his blood alcohol level was not ‘astronomically’ high.
Mr Culhane pleaded guilty to all 14 counts against him, including four charges of dangerous driving, and one of endangerment in the Enniskeane area.
He also admitted four related charges of dangerous driving. Other charges included threatening to kill a man at Teadies Lower, and producing a black baseball bat while making this threat.
Culhane also pleaded guilty to burglary at SuperValu in Dunmanway and causing criminal damage to the glass panel, and stealing 10 cans of alcohol at Kevin O’Leary’s on New Rd, Bandon. He admitted causing criminal damage to a 2017-registered vehicle belonging to Keohane’s Readymix at Teadies Lower.
He also pleaded guilty to drink driving and having no insurance or licence. His blood alcohol was 74mg per 100ml.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said it was lucky ‘more dreadful consequences didn’t occur’. He said Culhane had shown an ongoing disregard for road traffic legislation, being disqualified at the time.
He said he would disqualify Culhane from driving for life if he could. Factoring in the guilty plea, he jailed Culhane to four years suspending the last year of the sentence. Culhane was also disqualified from driving for 20 year