Judge Elizabeth MacGrath: suspended jail for 18-year-old who drove dangerously on the M7
A young motorist jumped from the driver’s seat to a back passenger seat in a car that was bring driven dangerously on the M7, Nenagh Court was told.
Thomas Carthy, who is now an adult but was a juvenile at the time of the offence, pleaded to dangerous driving and having no licence or insurance at Ballintotty, Nenagh, on April 6, 2018.
Mr Carthy was 17 at the time of the offences and turns 19 this July.
The court heard that the gardaí observed a vehicle crossing over and back on the motorway and then driving in the centre of the carriageway.
The weather was poor at the time, with wind and rain, the court was told.
The gardaí activated the blue light on the patrol car and stopped the vehicle.
However, as they approached the vehicle they observed the driver jump from the driver’s seat to the rear passengeer seat.
There were three other people in the car with Mr Carthy at the time.
Mr Carthy also pleaded to driving without insurance, having no licence and possession of cannabis at St Joseph’s Park, Nenagh, on April 18, 2018.
The court was told Mr Carthy was stopped by the gardaí and again jumped from the driver’s seat to the rear passenger seat.
The gardaí got a strong smell of cannabis from the vehicle, and, following a search, they found €20 worth of cannabis in the vehicle. They seized the vehicle.
At the time of the offences Mr Carthy had no convictions, but now has 24 convictions, the court heard.
Mr Carthy’s barrister, Reg Garrett, BL, said that his client was a juvenile at the time and they were the actions of someone who was “immature and reckless”.
“He has asked me to say he apologies for his actions, but he was addicted to drugs at the time and heavily involved in that scene,” said Mr Garrett. “He has now moved away from that negative group.”
Mr Garrett said that Mr Carthy’s partner was expecting their first child and his client had told him he didn’t want his child to grow up in the same way that he grew up.
“That's a powerful sentiment that he wants to give his child a different life to what he had” said Mr Garrett.
Mr Garrett asked Judge Elizabeth MacGrath to confine any disqualification to two years instead of four, and to postpone any disqualification to November when the child would be born.
However, Judge MacGrath refused both requests as she had no discretion on the disqualification and Mr Carthy admitted to the court he had no insurance at present.
She jailed Mr Carthy for three months for dangerous driving at Ballintotty, but suspended the sentence on condition he enter a bond of €250.
She fined him €100 for no insurance on the same date and disqualified him from driving for two years.
Judge MacGrath fined Mr Carthy €100 and disqualified him from driving for four years for no insurance on April 8, 2018. She fined him €100 for possession of cannabis.
Judge MacGrath said that it was “worrying” the manner in which Mr Carthy had been driving on the motorway.
She fixed recognizance in Mr Carthy’s own bond of €500.