A MONASTEREVIN man who claimed he did not really know the uninsured driver who took his car for a test drive before crashing it was fined and disqualified from driving at last week’s district court in Portlaoise.
Philip Fitzsimmons, of 23 Ferns Avenue, Ferns Bridge, Monasterevin, was charged with no insurance at Ballykelly Crossroads, Ballykelly, Monasterevin, on July 21 last year. There was also an additional charge of the unlawful possession of drugs.
Garda Niall Lynch gave evidence that he attended the scene of a single vehicle traffic collision on a narrow country road. He met two men, one of whom was Fitzsimmons who informed the garda that they had been involved in a crash while out on a test drive with a third man.
The third man, the driver, had fled the scene following the crash. Garda Lynch said that Fitzsimmons tried to help the gardaí identify the driver, but the man could not be located.
Both men at the scene were subsequently arrested and while in the patrol car, Garda Lynch said he got a smell of cannabis. He searched Fitzsimmons and discovered a bag of the drug worth €50.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted that her client had let a person he hardly knew take his car for a test drive, as he was getting married and was intending to sell the vehicle. After the crash, the driver absconded.
“My client was insured to drive, but the driver wasn’t,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.
In relation to the drugs charge, Ms Fitzpatrick said Fitzsimmons uses cannabis occasionally.
Due to Fitzsimmons’ early guilty plea, Judge William Early applied the probation act on the drugs charge.
For no insurance, Fitzsimmons was fined €100 and disqualified from driving for two years.
Recognizance was fixed in the event of an appeal.