Judge warns pensioner he is not too old for prison

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Limerick Courthouse
A PENSIONER who “took a chance” by driving his son to a bus stop while disqualified has been warned he will go to jail for four months if he comes before Limerick District Court again in the next year.

A PENSIONER who “took a chance” by driving his son to a bus stop while disqualified has been warned he will go to jail for four months if he comes before Limerick District Court again in the next year.

Thomas Culhane, 71, of Larchwood Avenue, Caherdavin, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and other motoring offences after he was stopped by gardai at Francis Street on August 20, 2012.

He was serving a four-year road ban on the date of the offence, having been convicted of drink driving in April 2012, while he had also been disqualified for driving without insurance the previous year, Sgt Donal Cronin told the court.

John Herbert, solicitor, said his client had foolishly decided to give his son a lift as he did not wish him to be late for his bus to Dublin.

“Is he so casual about his disqualification that he thought it was okay to take him to the bus stop,” Judge Eugene O’Kelly asked. “It wasn’t as if he was coming down from a mountain, he was coming from Caherdavin.”

Considering a custodial sentence, the judge noted there were “a lot of gentlemen older than him already in prison” and he had a duty to protect the public.

For driving while disqualified, Mr Culhane was disqualified for a further 10 years and handed a four-month prison sentence, which the judge suspended on condition he be of good behaviour for 12 months.