Port man took keys and crashed car

Portlaoise courthouse.
A PORTARLINGTON man who left the scene of an accident after crashing his friend’s car was last week banned from driving for ten years and given a suspended prison sentence.

A PORTARLINGTON man who left the scene of an accident after crashing his friend’s car was last week banned from driving for ten years and given a suspended prison sentence.

Pierce Mitchell, 18 Derrymore, Ballymorris Road, Port, was charged with hit and run and driving without a licence or insurance, at the Link Road, Port, on November 18, 2011.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that Mitchell was socialising with the owner of the vehicle on the night. He took the keys and ended up crashing the car, before he left the scene.

Mitchell has nine previous convictions and was driving while disqualified.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that Mitchell had very little recollection of driving.

“So he was drinking as well?” asked Judge Catherine Staines.

“He believes his drink was spiked,” said defence, adding that Mitchell had paid €1,000 to the owner of the car.

Judge Staines disqualified Mitchell for ten years and imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years. She warned him he would go to prison if he drove again.