A 25-year-old Czech national has been given community service in lieu of prison for disregarding a court order by driving while disqualified.
Before last week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court was Jiri Cervenak (25), with an address at Market Mews, Portlaoise.
Inspector Eamonn Curley gave evidence that the accused was stopped at a garda checkpoint on the Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise on July 12 this year, where he was discovered to be disqualified from driving.
The accused had 15 previous convictions, all for road traffic matters.
The offences dated from November 2009 up to 2015, said Insp Curley.
The accused was previously convicted of driving while disqualified, and drink driving.
Judge Catherine Staines noted that the accused had been disqualified from driving for six years in January, 2015, and was driving again this year.
She said the accused had absolutely no regard for court orders.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said that on the face of it, it did seem that his client had no regard for the court orders.
He said the accused was working part-time, earning around €220 to €240 a week, and had one child.
The vehicle that was driven belonged to his uncle and was parked outside as the accused’s partner was taking driving lessons, and was insured to do so.
In relation to the offence, just after midnight on the date the accused’s child became ill and the accused drove to the filling station to get Calpol, recklessly taking the car keys.
“Knowing he was disqualified,” remarked Judge Staines.
“His behaviour flies in the face of the court order,” admitted Mr Meagher, going on to say that the accused was asking for whatever leniency the court could give him.
The accused was extremely nervous, concluded Mr Meagher.
Judge Staines imposed 240 hours’ community service in lieu of one month in prison.
The judge told the accused that this was absolutely his last chance and if he drove again he could go to prison.
The matter was put back to October 19 for a community service report.