A TWENTY-year-old who was detected driving without insurance twice within a month was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.
Eamon Foy of Shunnagh, Parke, Castlebar, appeared before last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court, where he pleaded guilty to driving without insurance or a driving licence and also to hit and run, less than a month after being detected driving without insurance.
Garda Vincent O’Boyle explained that on March 5, 2017, he went to the scene of a road traffic accident at 3am at Lannagh Road, Castlebar, and saw a Volkswagen Polo crashed and abandoned at the side of the road.
There was nobody in the car, and there were no witnesses to the crash. However, Garda O’Boyle found a wallet and an ID card belong to Mr Foy. The car was registered to Mr Foy’s sister-in-law, who had emigrated to Canada. Mr Foy had been given the job of selling it.
Mr Foy later made a statement to gardaí in which he admitted driving on March 5 and leaving the scene, and also to driving while disqualified.
Garda O’Boyle told the court that Mr Foy was detected driving without a licence a few weeks previously, on February 2, 2017. He appeared in Ballina District Court on February 2 last, where he received a three-month suspended sentence for driving without insurance on that date.
When Judge Mary Devins heard this, she said to Ms Patricia Lally, solicitor for Mr Foy: “You know where your client is going.”
Ms Lally replied that at the time of the offences her client was going through a difficult period in his life, and that the incidents occurred over a two- to three-week period. She said he has since got employment and was back living with his parents. She said Mr Foy was only 20 years of age, and she asked Judge Devins not to impose a custodial sentence.
When Judge Devins asked why her client had driven when he had just recently been detected driving without a licence, Ms Lally said his life had been ‘in a downward spiral’ at the time, and he made a number of bad choices.
She told Judge Devins that she did not inform her of this case when he appeared in Ballina District Court because she did not want to prejudice her client.
Judge Devins said that in light of her order in Ballina, she would not impose another suspended sentence, and she sentenced Mr Foy to a three month prison sentence and fined him a total of €1,300. Mr Foy also received a four-year driving ban.