Off-duty Limerick garda stops drunk driver with over 100 previous convictions

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

The off-duty garda sergeant stopped a vehicle after he observed it being driven in an erratic manner

The off-duty garda sergeant stopped a vehicle after he observed it being driven in an erratic manner

AN OFF-DUTY Bruff garda sergeant stopped a vehicle after he observed it being driven in an erratic manner.

Gerard Mason, aged 60, of Towerhill, Cappamore pleaded guilty to drink driving at Dromsallagh, Cappamore on July 17, 2017. Sergeant Michelle Leahy said Sergeant Ted Riordan stopped the defendant while he was off-duty after observing his driving.

“He called Bruff Garda Station to dispatch a van. When Garda Aidan Larkin came he saw that Mr Mason was very unsteady on his feet. He was arrested and conveyed to Bruff Garda Station,” said Sgt Leahy. A urine sample gave a reading of 303mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of urine.

On a separate date, Mr Mason pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, certificate of road worthiness or driving license, speeding at 71kmph in a 50km zone, and not wearing a safety belt. Garda John Ryan said he stopped Mr Mason at Main Street, Cappamore on September 15, 2017.

Garda Ryan said Mr Mason has a total of 107 previous convictions including 11 for no insurance.  Con Barry, solicitor for Mr Mason, said there is no getting away from his client’s previous convictions.

“There were tragic circumstances around this time,” said Mr Barry, who told Kilmallock court a person close to the family died in a road traffic accident.  Judge Marian O’Leary said: “Yet, he goes out and drinks and drives...”

Mr Barry said his client slipped back into his old ways due to “a lot of tragic circumstances”.  “He apologises to the court and the gardai. He is unemployed,” said Mr Barry.

For drink driving, Judge O’Leary put Mr Mason off the road for three years and fined him €500. The judge sentenced Mr Mason to five months in prison, disqualified him from driving for 10 years and fined him €400 for no insurance.

Judge O’Leary fined him €200 for no certificate of road worthiness, €300 for no driving licence, €150 for speeding and €150 for not wearing a seatbelt.  Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.