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File photo of a crashed car.
File photo of a crashed car.
Image: Shutterstock/Lisa S.

Man given 3.5 years in jail for recklessly colliding with another car

He had 57 previous convictions,
Jan 21st 2017, 9:15 AM 25,187 27

A MAN WHOSE 57 previous convictions for road traffic offences include multiple driving bans has been given a three-and-a-half year sentence for recklessly colliding with another car.

Jonathan Coyle (33) drove his Honda Civic car into the side of another car, hitting the car three times. The men in the Honda car had previously being involved in a violent row with the men in the other car.

The force of the collisions caused both cars to conk out. The driver of the second car, Philip Woodcock, ran over to the Honda Civic and began punching Coyle around the head.

While this was taking place an unidentified man stabbed another man who had been with the Woodcock group. Former soldier Warren O’Connor (24) died from his injuries.

Guilty plea

The O’Connor family were present in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for the sentence hearing. Detective Garda Donal O’Connell told the court that Coyle had no part in the unlawful killing and that nobody else has been charged in connection with these events.

The court heard that three knives were found in the Honda Civic.

Coyle of Colecut Cottages, Ballough, Lusk, Co Dublin pleaded guilty to endangerment at the Hole in the Wall Road, Donaghmeade on January 16, 2010. Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, told the court that the plea was entered on the basis of recklessness on Coyle’s part.

He was subject to a 10-year driving disqualification at the time and was on bail for a road traffic offence.

Judge Cormac Quinn imposed a three-and-a-half year sentence and suspended the final 18 months. He also ordered 18 months probation supervision from the date of release and disqualified him from driving for 10 years.


The court heard Coyle went to Northern Ireland shortly after the incident where he was arrested for an offence of money laundering and spent 18 months in custody.

In 2003 he received a five year driving ban. He was further banned from driving in 2009. He also has previous convictions for robbery, assault and burglary.

Roisin Lacey SC, defending, said that Coyle had been severely beaten earlier by Woodcock and this affected his ability to drive.

She said his driving was certainly erratic and there was a lack of reasoning involved in his decision to overtake. Judge Quinn pointed out that Coyle had decided to follow the other car and proceeded to overtake it.

Detective Garda O’Connell said that Woodcock was a resident of the Bracken Wood apartment complex in Donaghmeade and became upset about a party in the neighbouring flat.

He and four other men went around to the flat to stop the party. They were banging on the door and shouting at the occupants to open up and Woodcock tried to force the door open.

When the door was opened Coyle and two other men were standing there armed with knives. They were disarmed by the women inside the flat but the row quickly became violent.

Woodcock and another man grabbed Coyle and began punching him around the head and ribs. When Coyle fell to the ground the men stopped the attack and left.

The two groups then left the flat complex in separate cars and the collision happened shortly afterwards.

Read: Convicted killer who ate his own faeces sentenced to community service for attack on garda>

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Declan Brennan and Fiona Ferguson


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