A 19-year-old man who was the passenger in a stolen vehicle which knocked a cyclist off their bike in Portlaoise before it hit another car claimed he had little recollection of the incident as he had taken alcohol and tablets at the time of the offence.
Jack Doyle (19), 4 Millennium Court, Tullow Road, Carlow, was charged with being a passenger in a stolen vehicle, threatening or abusive behaviour, and being intoxicated in a public place.
The vehicle he was a passenger in was stolen from Green Lane in Carlow on August 13, 2020.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on August 13 this year, there was a collision at Beechfield, Portlaoise, in which a cyclist was knocked off their bike sustaining soft tissue injuries. The car involved drove off at speed towards Coote Street, where it hit another car pushing it into a housing estate. The stolen car then drove into the estate and stopped, before two males exited.
Sgt Kirby said that the accused was under the influence of an intoxicant at the time and became abusive towards the gardaí.
The accused had no previous convictions.
Defence solicitor, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that on the night, the accused had been taking tablets and had very little recollection of the incident. She said that he had not drunk alcohol since then.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that the accused had learning difficulties and experienced drug-induced psychosis. She said that he had written a letter of apology and his mother had written a heartfelt letter to the court.
“He's taking it very seriously,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.
Judge Catherine Staines asked what had been his relationship to the driver, who is due to appear before the court on January 7, 2021.
Ms Fitzpatrick replied that they had been friends, with the co-accused the elder of the two.
The accused confirmed that they were no longer friends.
Judge Staines said it was an extremely serious incident and the alleged driver of the stolen vehicle will have to face serious consequences. She noted that the accused had been a passenger in the vehicle, which was also a serious matter. She said the accused had a mental health diagnosis and had taken tablets and alcohol on the night, which led to these actions.
The matter was put back to March 11, 2021, for a probation report on the accused. The judge also requested victim impact statements from the cyclist who was knocked down and the owner of the car which was struck.
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