Man who left scene of road accident made a false report to the gardai
A FATHER-of-four drove off from the scene of a road accident, then made a false report to gardai that he was trying to escape a gun attack.
Michael Hanley told officers he was the victim of a shooting and was being chased by a car when he crashed into two parked vehicles in west Dublin.
However, detectives found no evidence of this and Hanley “cracked” and admitted he had made the shooting up, Blanchardstown District Court heard.
Judge John King gave him a six-month sentence, suspended in full for two years. He also fined Hanley €1,000 and disqualified him from driving for a year.
Hanley, aged 32, with an address at Portland Row, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident at Barberstown Lane, Lucan on August 12, 2020. He also admitted giving gardai a false report on August 21.
Garda Amy Cunningham told the court she went to the scene of the accident on the first date and a driver said he had pulled in to take a phone call when a van crashed into him. Another car was also struck. The van was found nearby.
When Hanley was identified later, he said he was not involved and had been in a shop.
However, on August 21, he made a statement at Lucan garda station admitting he was driving and struck the cars, but claiming he was shot in the stomach minutes earlier.
He claimed he had been chased by a black Golf and lost control as he fled.
This was investigated with a garda team set up to search for the gun, bullets and car, while a detective spent days looking at CCTV.
The accused’s van was tracked around Lucan but the Golf could not be found, Garda Cunningham said.
In February, Hanley was interviewed again after presenting himself at the garda station. He admitted he had “just panicked and left the scene and made it up”.
Hanley had been “very emotional” in that interview, his solicitor Sandra Frayne said.
He was someone who did not react well under stress and made a bad situation a lot worse when he made the false statement.
He had made a statement that went half-way but the rest resulted in the gardai wasting their time, Ms Frayne said.
Judge King asked why he struck the cars and Ms Frayne said Hanley did not know the road in question.
“What was the reason behind the fantasy shooting?” the judge asked.
Ms Frayne said her client had been completely incorrect.
The seriousness of wasting garda time and resources had been explained to Hanley in the interview.
Judge King asked if the additional garda manpower and resources would have cost thousands. The garda agreed.
Hanley had a large number of previous convictions, but most were not recent. He owned a business providing carriages for weddings and funerals.