A FATHER-of-eight was sentenced to five months imprisonment after he admitted drink-driving while disqualified and uninsured.
Stephen Marshall, aged 39, of Elton Court, Meelick pleaded guilty, at Limerick District Court, to multiple road traffic offences relating to an incident on March 1, last.
Garda Tony Miniter of the divisional traffic corps, said he initially observed the defendant driving above the speed limit in the Moyross area of the city before following him to Meelick.
He said the defendant was subsequently arrested and taken to Henry Street garda station where he provided a sample of his breath which showed a concentration of alcohol which was almost twice the legal limit.
Solicitor John Devane confirmed his client has been the subject of four disqualification orders in the past having been convicted of driving without insurance.
He said on the evening before he was stopped, Mr Marshall had been “dropped off” at his brother’s house in the Moyross area but that an argument had broken out while he was there.
He said he left the house “for his own safety” and was driving home in his brother’s van when he was stopped by Garda Miniter.
Mr Devane said his client, who has a number of previous convictions, has four young children with his current partner as well as four older children from a previous relationship.
He urged the judge not to jail his client saying he was “very good working with his hands” and was willing to carry out community service instead of going to prison.
However, when Judge Eugene O’Kelly asked why the defendant is in receipt of Disability Allowance, Mr Devane said one of Mr Marshall’s hands had been “badly deformed” as a result of an accident.
However, he submitted his client would still be able to work with his good hand, if given the opportunity.
Despite, Mr Devane’s strong representations Judge O’Kelly said he could see no reason, given the defendant’s previous record, not to impose an immediate custodial sentence.
“I see nothing other than his guilty plea to be mitigating,” he commented.
The judge sentenced Mr Marshall to five months imprisonment and he disqualified him from driving for twelve years.
The judge refused an application from Mr Devane to suspend the prison sentence saying: “I see no circumstances in which a suspended sentence is warranted”.
Leave to appeal was granted.