18 Aug 2022

Jail term increased but suspended for man who drove in breach of three court orders


Jail term increased but suspended for man who drove in breach of three court orders

A man appealing a prison sentence for driving in breach of three disqualifications has had the sentence increased but suspended by Portlaoise Circuit Court.

Guntars Brants, 25 Cosby Avenue, Fairgreen, Portlaoise, received a one-month sentence at Portlaoise District Court last June, for having no licence or insurance, on June 6, 2019.

The accused had two previous convictions for drink driving.

Judge Catherine Staines noted that he was in breach of three disqualification orders at the time.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the accused, a Latvian national who was supporting his family back home, was called into work on the date to replace someone else.

He now no longer has a car, said defence.

Judge Staines said that driving disqualifications are meaningless if people continue to drive.

She imposed one month in prison and disqualified him from driving for six years, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.

At the recent appeal before Portlaoise Circuit Court, barrister Mr Rory Hannify admitted that it was very difficult to criticise the decision of the district court judge, but said that the imposition of the prison sentence had very much focused the appellant’s mind.

He said the vehicle that had been driven had since been put up for sale.

Judge Keenan Johnson said that the prison sentence imposed in the district court had been absolutely right. He increased the sentence to four months, suspended for ten years on condition the appellant enter into a peace bond.

“If he steps out of line again then four months is what he’ll serve,” warned the judge.

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