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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 21 January 2021

Student appears before court charged in relation to incident at Citywest shopping centre yesterday

The accused was granted bail under strict terms after he was charged with four serious offences in connection with the incident.

Image: Dublin Fire Brigade

A COMPUTER SCIENCE student was caught red-handed after he intentionally drove a car into a man outside Citywest Shopping Centre in Dublin, a court has heard.

A man in his 20s was injured when he was hit by an Audi during an incident at about 5.30pm on Wednesday. The driver was restrained by onlookers.

The alleged victim was taken to Tallaght University Hospital for treatment but his injures which were not thought to be life threatening.

The accused Alegranto Kongolo, 23, was granted bail under strict terms today after he was charged with four serious offences in connection with the incident.

A number of garda units and emergency services attended at the scene and arrested him. Video footage of the incident went viral online on Wednesday evening and gardai appealed for witnesses.

The accused, Alegranto Kongolo, with an address at Rossfield Park, Tallaght, Dublin was charged with assault causing harm to a named man, endangerment of life, criminal damage and production of a claw hammer as a weapon during the incident.

He was held overnight and appeared before Judge Colin Daly at Dublin District Court today.

Garda Daniel McFeeley said Mr Kongolo was arrested at 5.45pm at the shopping centre and he made no reply when he was later charged at Tallaght station.

The garda applied for a remand in custody adding that there was an objection to bail on the grounds of flight risk and the seriousness of the case.

Mr Kongolo, dressed in a black jacket, dark blue tracksuit bottoms and trainers, sat silently throughout the hearing.

Garda McFeeley said the accused was caught red-handed. It was alleged he intentionally drove a car into the injured party who is now in hospital.

He said the incident was captured in CCTV and the accused made admissions.

He said the complainant was known to the Mr Kongolo and he feared the accused would intimidate him, and witnesses.

The charges can carry maximum sentences ranging from five to 10 years, the court heard.

The Garda also said that following arrest, Mr Kongolo said he hoped to fly to Dubai that night.

Conor Burke, BL, defending, submitted that his client said that but at the time he did not have his passport or any ticket on his person or in his car.

He put it to the Garda that Mr Kongolo did not appreciate the seriousness of what had happened. The garda replied that the accused thought he was going to get bail at the Garda station.

Counsel argued that the case could go to the circuit court and his client would spend an extended period in custody before the matter has been resolved.

Mr Burke told the court his client lived in Tallaght with his family and his mother, who was extremely upset, was present for the hearing. He was studying computer science in college and counsel said, “this is a situation where Mr Kongolo is very rapidly realising the seriousness of the charges in front of him”.

Granting bail, Judge Daly said he was satisfied strict conditions would be sufficient. It was set on his own bond of €500 and there must be a €250 cash lodgement.

He ordered the young man to reside at his current address and notify gardai of any change, sign on daily at Tallaght Garda station, obey a 10pm-6am curfew which gardai have liberty to check, and he must stay away from the alleged injured party and not have any contact – directly or indirectly – with him.

The accused was also ordered to surrender his passport and not to apply for alternative travel documents.

The judge noted he had an Irish passport and did not hold dual citizenship.

Mr Kongolo was remanded on bail and ordered to appear at Tallaght District Court on December 19 next for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

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