02 Jul 2022

Four months in prison for driver with 'appalling' record

Four months in prison for driver with 'appalling' record

A man with an “appalling list of convictions” for driving offences was sent to prison for four months at Portlaoise district court on Thursday.

Joseph Gorry, 66, of 8 Parnell Crescent, Knockmay, Portlaoise was charged with driving with no insurance and no driving licence at the Ballyroan Road, Abbeyleix, on March 17 this year.

The court heard he had six previous convictions for no insurance, and one for dangerous driving causing death in 2002.

At Portlaoise district court on October 8, 2020 he was disqualified for two years and received a six month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Defending solicitor Michael Byrne said that Mr Gorry was a 66-year old man who fixes second hand cars.

His reasons for driving on St. Patrick’s day this year was that a client’s car had broken down and he was required to fix it urgently. His partner usually drives him.

On this occasion he put his business ahead of his partner who had declined to drive to the garage in Abbeyleix.

In a spur of the moment decision he made the egregious decision to drive himself.

He has serious health conditions with diabetes and had had two heart attacks. There was a report from his GP.

His client base of 150 customers would collapse overnight if he was imprisoned. He had apologised to the Gardai and knew what he did was wrong.

He had now retained a driver and knew he would never drive again.

Judge Staines said he had an appalling list of convictions.

“Last October on his sixth conviction I gave him a suspended sentence.

“He is in breach of that sentence. He drove again five months later without insurance.

“He has a total disregard for court orders.

“What is the point of a suspended sentence if it can be breached like this and not activated.”

Noting his early plea, she sentenced him to four months in prison, disqualified him for four years.

Recognisances of €100 were fixed in the event of an appeal.

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