Mountrath man stole car due to drug addiction

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Mountrath man stole car due to drug addiction

A Mountrath man stole a car and wrote it off by crashing into a ditch as he was “at the apex of an acute addiction to heroin and crack cocaine”.

Before last week’s Portlaoise District Court was David Bergin, 20, of The Bungalow, Mountrath, charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant, dangerous driving, and no licence or insurance, at Colt, Portlaoise; and theft of a phone, and the unauthorised taking of an MPV, at Marian Place, Portlaoise, all on October 3 last year.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on October 3 last, while under the influence of drugs and drink, the accused stole a phone from a parked car and then stole the vehicle as well.

The accused then crashed the car into a ditch at Colt, writing the vehicle off.

He sustained a head injury and was taken to Tullamore Hospital, where he returned a blood alcohol reading of 108mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

He was fully cooperative with gardaí and made full admissions. Sgt Kirby said the accused had no previous convictions, but had other matters before the court this coming April.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said that a probation report was due on April 4 next on those other matters.

He said that the latest offence had been born out of the accused’s addiction, as the accused had been “at the apex of an acute addiction to heroin and crack cocaine” at the time.

Mr Fitzgerald said that the accused had completed his Junior Cert at school, but drugs became a feature of his life thereafter.

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused had been desperate to get money, but there was no rational explanation for the offence and he merely saw the keys in the vehicle.

Defence went on to say that the accused had completed a nine-week primary treatment for his addiction and was awaiting a bed for the next stage.

He said that the accused had a good family support and they were taking matters in hand.

Judge Catherine Staines said these were extremely serious matters which merited a prison sentence, however she agreed to adjourn sentencing until after seeing the probation report on April 4.

For dangerous driving, the accused was disqualified from driving for two years; for no insurance he was disqualified for two years; and an additional two-year ban was imposed on the charge of driving while under an intoxicant.