07 Aug 2022

Driver disappeared from behind emergency garda escort to hospital in Kilkenny

Kilkenny Court

A motorist who ‘disappeared’ from behind a garda who was giving her an emergency escort to hospital has been convicted of motoring and public order offences.

Jekaterina Zemtaute, 29 College Avenue, Kilkenny, was charged with a number of offences which occurred on several occasions.

On October 28, 2019, Garda McMenamin was on John Street, at 1.45am. He met Ms Zemtaute who was extremely intoxicated. She fell out onto the street and was acting in an unruly manner.
A fixed charge penalty was not paid.

On January 9, 2020, Garda Ryan stopped Ms Zemtaute while driving. She failed to display ‘L’ plates.
On January 21, 2020, Garda O’Brien was driving an unmarked garda vehicle at the Callan Road, Kilkenny, at approximately 6pm. She observed a red Audi A3 approaching from the rear, at speed. The car moved onto the wrong side of the road and overtook the garda vehicle and three other vehicles.
Garda O’Brien told the court she was unable to see oncoming traffic so the driver of the Audi would have been in the same position.

The garda followed the Audi and activated the garda vehicle’s blue lights.
Ms Zemtaute, who was driving the Audi, pulled over and before the garda could even remove her own seat belt, exited her vehicle and ran to the garda shouting that a child was dying.
Ms Zemtaute got back in her car and took off again.

The garda followed her to College Park where she parked at her mother’s house, ran in and took a child she said was her sister and needed to go to hospital.
Garda O’Brien asked the child was she ok and she nodded.

Ms Zemtaute’s mother got into the car with her daughters and Garda O’Brien said she would go in front of them to the hospital.
The garda said Ms Zemtaute followed her onto the Old Callan Road and then the Audi “disappeared.”

Garda O’Brien checked with the ambulance service and there had been no emergency call in the previous hour. She went to the hospital and did not find the child. She also checked the hospital car park and did not see the red Audi.

Solicitor Chris Hogan said his client’s driving was “below par” but she had no previous convictions for poor driving.
In relation to the public order offence his client had asked him to apologise, Mr Hogan said. She doesn't socialise now and spends time looking after her child. She is trying to set up a beauty business.

Judge Geraldine Carthy asked what the emergency was, in relation to Garda O’Brien’s charge.
Mr Hogan said his client has a younger sister who is ill. On that day her mother rang her and they did go to the hospital that day.

Convicting Ms Zemtaute, the judge imposed a fine of €150 for not having ‘L’ plates displayed on her car. She was fined €250 for the public order offence.
For driving without reasonable consideration, on January 21, 2020, Ms Zemtaute was fined €600.

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