A COMMUNITY garda thought she would be killed when a teenager violently drove a stolen car directly at her, a court has heard.
Niamh Keogh is a garda attached to Limerick’s Roxboro Road community policing unit and for the last six years has been stationed to liaise with youths “on the ground” in the O’Malley Park area of Southill.
On May 23, 2012, Garda Keogh was on foot patrol in the area shortly before 4pm when she first encountered a 1998 Cork registered red Mazda 323.
The car, gda Keogh said, was first heard revving violently and screeching near the Castle Oaks View are Southill. A few moments later, she observed the car driving towards her as she walked near the Southill Area Centre.
The driver, a then 16-year-old teen, drove down the road towards garda Keogh in an erratic and dangerous matter before doing a U-turn and speeding off in the opposite direction.
Garda Keogh’s evidence came in the second day of the trial of a now 17 year old teenager charged with the alleged endangerment of the garda and the unlawful use of a stolen car on the date in question.
The trial running at Limerick Circuit Court before Judge Carroll Moran and a jury of eight women and four men was told that the car returned towards garda Keogh driving in the same manner as earlier.
It was then that garda Keogh said the driver of the car was “pressing on the accelerator in a violent manner” before she described how the driver then started “driving straight towards me”.
The court heard that garda Keogh “jumped to take evasive action behind a pillar” to protect herself she said.
“I thought I was going to be killed or seriously injured”, gda Keogh told the Judge.
She said that the car drove by and swerved before garda Keogh had an “unobstructed view” of the accused.
“I saw the driver and I recognised him immediately” added garda Keogh who said that she was “100 per cent sure” it was the accused.
“It is our role to know the youths in the area and on the ground”.
Garda Keogh said that she was in fear for her life as the “vehicle was coming straight towards me”.
Details of the car speeding off into the O’Malley Park area of Southill were given to the court before Garda Keogh called in the alert to the Roxboro Station.
The trial continues.