A Romanian national who drove while disqualified has been given a suspended jail sentence and put off the road for eight years.
At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Gavril Anghel, 37, with an address at 32 Rossdarragh Glen, Portlaoise, was charged with no licence or insurance, at Clonenagh, Mountrath, on February 18 this year.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that the accused had ten previous convictions, including recent driving disqualifications.
Judge Catherine Staines noted that the accused had been driving while disqualified twice.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said the accused, a Romanian national with three children who has been living in Ireland for a number of years, had obtained the loan of a vehicle on the day as his wife had serious personal issues and had to attend an appointment.
Judge Staines asked why did he get the loan of a car when he was disqualified. Mr Meagher replied that the accused had an arrangement with a neighbour to get a lift to the hospital, but at the last moment the neighbour couldn’t make it so rather than miss the appointment he rang a friend and very foolishly got the loan of a car. He was driving into town when the gardaí stopped him.
Mr Meagher said the accused was a qualified barber who had lost his job a few months ago. He is also doing community service for a previous criminal conviction.
Handing in a heartfelt letter to the court from the accused expressing his shame and concern, Mr Meagher said that the offence was not due to any disrespect towards the court orders by the accused, he had just made a very foolish decision to drive.
The accused himself addressed the court, saying he would not drive again.
For no insurance, Judge Staines imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for one year, and disqualified the accused from driving for eight years.