Lengthy driving ban after crashing into school bus

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A Stradbally man who took his mother’s car and crashed it into a school bus was told to enter into residential treatment for his drug problem.

A Stradbally man who took his mother’s car and crashed it into a school bus was told to enter into residential treatment for his drug problem.

Jack Mullen, Ballymaddock, Stradbally was charged with dangerous driving, no insurance and stealing a car at Ballymaddock on October 19, last year.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly explained that Mullen, who had no previous convictions took his mother’s Ford Focus from her house where he had been washing the car.

“He picked up a friend and drink at speed to Ballymaddock Cross,” the inspector said.

On meeting a school bus on the road, the court heard that Mullen braked and skidded, causing him to crash into the bus, causing almost €4,000 worth of damage.

There was no passengers on the bus at the time, and neither the bus driver, Mullen nor his passenger was injured in the collision.

Josephine Fitzpatrick, defending, explained that her client, who was now renting a room at 30 Carmody Way, Fairgreen, Portlaoise had been reliant on drugs at the time of the accident.

She said his mother was supporting her son in court, but did not condone his behaviour.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that cannabis was still showing up in Mullen’s system, but he was working towards not using it anymore.

The court heard that Mullen, who was 18 at the time of the accident had taken up a career option programme with Laois Partnership and was doing voluntary work experience as part of that.

Ms Fitzpatrick explained that he was the second eldest of ten children and his father had moved to Canada two months ago on a contract with work and the whole family would hopefully follow him out there.

For taking the car without permission, Judge Catherine Staines ordered that the defendant enter into a residential treatment programme for his drug problem.

She said she was considering community service for Mullen, but he was doing the equivalent of this already through his work experience.

He was fined €300 and disqualified from driving from two years. Mullen was also given another two years off the road for dangerous driving, while the charge of driving without a driving licence was taken into consideration.