Judge told driver had access to cars through his work
A MOTORIST who was caught driving without insurance for a fourth and fifth time in less than six months was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment after he was deemed unsuitable to carry out community service.
Shane O’Malley, 39, of Castle Gardens, Bunratty, County Clare, pleaded guilty to a number of road traffic offences relating to detections made at Ballycannon, Meelick on April 4, 2018 and at Pineview Gardens, Moyross on October 2, 2018.
Each of the detections were made by members of the divisional Roads Policing Unit who were on routine patrol.
At Limerick District Court Inspector Liz Kennedy said the defendant, who has a total of 24 previous convictions for road traffic offences, was disqualified from driving on each occasion he was stopped.
Most of the convictions, she added, related to offences which were committed in County Clare.
Solicitor John Herbert said his client, who works as a mechanic, was dealing with a serious drug addition around the time of both offences and that this had “clouded his judgment”.
He said Mr O’Malley has access to cars through his work and that he accepts his behaviour was out of order.
The solicitor urged the court to give his client one final chance and to not impose a custodial sentence.
“He has resolved to deal with his underlying issues,” said Mr Herbert who added that he fully understands the seriousness of his offending.
Noting his previous poor record, Judge Mary Larkin asked why the defendant has not learned his lesson?
“What part of ‘you cannot drive without insurance’ does he not understand? He has been putting his head in the sand.” she said.
Speaking from the body of the court, Mr O’Malley told the judge “I understand it now”. He added that he would not drive again.
Judge Larkin said she was willing to give him a chance and indicated she was considering a penalty of 180 hours of community service in lieu of a five month prison sentence.
However, she was informed by a probation officer a short time later that he was not suitable for community service as he had not cooperated with the Probation Service in the past.
After noting this, the judge proceeded to impose the five-month prison sentence.
Mr O’Malley was fined €200 for driving without a licence at Meelick and disqualified from driving for six years.
Judge Larkin imposed a separate four month prison sentence, which she suspended for 12 months, in relation to the offence at Pineview Gardens.
Leave to appeal the severity of the sentence was granted.