Laois man withdraws appeal after falling back into drug use

22-year-old sentenced for dangerous driving asks to go into custody

Laois man withdraws appeal after falling back into drug use

A 22-year-old Laois man sentenced to five months in jail for dangerous driving has withdrawn an appeal against the sentence, after becoming homeless and falling back into drug use.

Robert Dwane (22), with previous addresses in Portlaoise and Ballinakill, was convicted of dangerous driving back in January at the district court.

Judge Catherine Staines described it as the worst case of dangerous driving she had ever seen, and told Dwane he was lucky not to be charged with dangerous driving causing death, after hearing that gardaí had to take evasive action when he drove at speed on the wrong side of the road.

On October 21 last, the gardaí were on patrol at Emmet Street, Mountmellick, when they observed the vehicle driven by Dwane approach at speed. The car cut across the corner on the white line and the gardaí had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

The car failed to stop and continued on at 140km/h in an 80km zone on the wrong side of the road.

In a separate matter, on November 25 last, Dwane was arrested on a bench warrant and brought to Portlaoise Garda Station.

While in custody, he became aggressive and punched the hatch in the custody area, causing it to snap.

And on January 5, he was involved in a hit and run incident at Harpur’s Lane in Portlaoise after taking his mother’s car without her permission. He left the scene of the incident, and was later found to have had no licence, insurance or NCT.

Judge Staines sentenced him to five months in prison, and disqualified him from driving for two years.

Another two-year driving disqualification was imposed on the charge of no insurance.

The appeal was listed for this week’s sitting of Portlaoise Circuit Court, but this morning (Tuesday, March 7) solicitor, Mr Philip Meagher told the court that his client had become homeless and “fallen into old habits” with intoxicants.

He asked the court to withdraw the appeal, for his client to go into custody.

Judge Keenan Johnson withdrew the appeal and confirmed the district court order.

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