A MOUNTMELLICK man who appealed a prison sentence for road traffic offences had his sentence increased but suspended at the recent Circuit Court, with Judge Tony Hunt declaring that the man deserved to go to prison.
Anthony Quinn, Camira, Mountmellick, was sentenced at a previous sitting of the District Court to four months and two months, for driving while disqualified and driving without a licence.
Garda Sgt James Phelan outlined a long list of previous convictions going back to 2009, including several for no insurance.
Defence, Mr Ciaran Elders said Quinn’s son was sick with asthma and his client had driven on the day in question to get an inhaler for him.
Mr Elders admitted that his client had “an absolutely horrendous record” but said he was looking for some leniency as both Quinn’s parents are hospitalised and he has two children to care for. Mr Elders asked Judge Hunt to consider community service for his client, or suspend the jail sentence.
Judge Hunt remarked that Quinn doesn’t seem to bother with the road traffic laws.
“What makes him think that he’s different from everybody else?” asked the judge. “If you want to have a car you get yourself insured.”
Judge Hunt ruled that the District Court judge had been completely right in sentencing Quinn.
“The District Court judge saw that it had reached the end of the line,” said Judge Hunt. “As far as I’m concerned, these deserve a considerable sentence.”
Judge Hunt increased the original sentences to six months each, but he suspended them for two years on condition Quinn keep the peace. He also made the sentences consecutive bringing the total to 12 months, in order for his ruling “to have bite”.
“If there’s any suggestion he’s driving he’ll get 12 months,” said Judge Hunt, telling Quinn that he only had himself to blame.
Quinn was also charged with failing to comply with a community service order of 240 hours.
The court heard he still has 60 hours to complete. Mr Elders said his client had been assaulted in November of last year, sustaining two broken fingers and an eye injury, which left him unable to complete the community service. Mr Elders went on to say that in January of this year, Quinn’s parents both fell ill and were hospitalised, leaving Quinn to take care of his siblings. Mr Elders said that this once again prevented his client from completing his service.
Judge Hunt gave him a “third and last chance” to complete the order and he put the matter back to October 26.