Judge Elizabeth MacGrath: jailed defendant for a total of nine months
A man who was observed driving while disqualified in a townland from which he was barred by the courts has been jailed for a total of nine months.
Shane O’Connell of Summerhill, Dunkerrin, and Knockfune, Kilcommon, pleaded to dangerous driving at Garryard East and no insurance at Shallee on September 25, 2019; no insurance at Reiska, Kilcommon, on April 7, 2020, and careless driving and no insurance at Curreeny, Kilcommon, on October 3, 2020.
The court heard that Mr O’Connell was observed by gardaí on mobile patrol driving a vehicle on September 25. They knew him to be disqualified and followed the vehicle.
Mr O’Connell drove off and abandoned the vehicle before “taking off through a forest”, the court heard.
Mr O’Connell was again observed by gardaí driving while disqualified on April 7, 2020.
On October 3, he was observed driving a vehicle that was pulling a horsebox and he “took of at speed to avoid the gardaí”.
Mr O’Connell subsequently overtook a vehicle and went up a dirt track before running from the vehicle.
The court that Mr O’Connell was subject to a number of Section 99 bonds from 2019 for which he had been given suspended sentences. As a condition of the bonds he had been told to stay out of Kilcommon and surrounding areas. He had also been ordered to pay €2,240 in compensation for damage.
The court heard he had 11 previous convictions.
His solicitor, Pat Liston, said Mr O’Connell was 31 years old and a single man.
“Unfortunately it all seems to stem from a sad and unusual breakdown with his family,” he said.
Mr Liston said that his client had an interest in horses and the only place he could them was in Curreeny.
Mr O’Connell had been “foolhardy” to drive while disqualified.
“He has no one to stand by him,” said Mr Liston. “He is here on his own. It is an unfortunate and sad case where he has no family support.”
He said Mr O’Connell accepts he was wrong and was anxious to deal with matters.
“I've explained he faces a custodial sentence and he accepts his fate,” said the solicitor.
Judge Elizabeth MacGrath jailed Mr O’Connell for a total of nine months. She set recognizance in the event of an appeal in Mr O’Connell’s own bond of €500, with an independent surety of €750 of which €500 was to be in cash and approved by the court.
Mr O’Connell was remanded in custody to Athlone Court to face a charge of breaching another Section 99 bond.
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