Basketballer tried to run from Gardai who arrested him
A SUCCESSFUL young basketballer tried to run from gardai who arrested him when he was stopped driving without insurance.
Kevin Anyanwu, aged 20, was pepper-sprayed as he resisted arrest in the incident.
Judge David McHugh fined him €300 and banned him from driving for two years for having no insurance.
However, he struck out an obstruction charge at Blanchardstown District Court after hearing a conviction for this offence would have “grave implications” for the accused travelling abroad.
Anyanwu, with an address at Thornfield Square, Watery Lane, Clondalkin pleaded guilty to driving without a licence or insurance, and garda obstruction on June 6 last.
Sergeant Maria Callaghan said gardai on patrol at Ballyowen Road, Lucan saw the accused driving an Audi A3. On seeing the gardai, he turned left across three lanes of traffic onto Castle Road.
Gardai followed him to Earlsfort Drive and stopped him. There was no insurance displayed on the car and when they spoke to him, Anyanwu had no licence.
He was arrested and attempted to run, pushing past the gardai in an attempt to evade arrest, Sgt Callaghan said.
It was necessary to pepper-spray him and he was brought to Ronanstown Garda Station, where a demand was made for his documents.
Anyanwu had no previous convictions.
The accused had “very foolishly” bought a car without having any licence or insurance, “hopeful that he would be able to save up to do so,” his solicitor Kelly Breen said.
When he found he was not able to, he took “this stupid risk” and drove the car, Ms Breen said. He got “very afraid” when he was being arrested and took the course of behaviour that he did. He regretted this and apologised.
The accused had a “very successful” basketball career in the past, having represented Ireland at under-16s level and getting a scholarship to study in the USA.
He was now back in Ireland and coaching children in the area, and had an opportunity to return to the US to coach there.
A conviction for obstruction would have grave implications for him travelling.
Judge McHugh convicted him for having no insurance but struck the obstruction charge out, given that he was an “able basketballer” with opportunities in America.