Raphoe man who led Gardai on chase gets 4 year ban

April 20, 2021

A Raphoe man who led Gardai on a chase the length of Letterkenny’s dual carriageway and then refused to give a sample when arrested has appeared in court.

James Clarke appeared at Letterkenny District Court to face charges relating to the incident on July 24th last.

Gardai spotted Clarke driving slowly in the opposite direction at 1.52am and followed him.

They activated their flashing lights but he failed to stop his 01 DL registered Opel Corsa.

The court was told Clarke was swerving across continuous white lines and that he narrowly missed hitting a number of other cars.

He turned off at Pluck and was eventually apprehended at Dromore.

When stopped his also reversed his car and struck the Garda patrol car but there was no great impact.

When taken to Letterkenny Garda station, Clarke refused to give a sample.

Solicitor Donagh Cleary said his client was aged 57 years and suffered with depression and that alcohol brings out the worst in him.

He said Clarke doesn’t cope well when “things get on top of him” but was apologetic and hasn’t actually driver for over a year now.

Judge Paul Kelly convicted Clarke and fined him €300 and disqualified him from driving for four years for refusing to give a sample.

He also fined him €200 for dangerous driving and took other charges into consideration.

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