A PORTLAOISE man took a car without permission while he was drunk and drove it into a parked vehicle.
Liam Gavin, 12 Abbey Court, Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise, was charged with the unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle, hit and run, and driving without a licence or insurance, at Lakeside Gardens, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, on November 13 last year.
Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Gavin was attending a house party and at 5am, in a highly intoxicated state, he took the car and drove a short distance before crashing into a parked Ford Focus. Gavin then drove off, having caused €2,700 damage to the Focus and €3,000 damage to the stolen car.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had suffered with drink and drug addictions and had been assessed for treatment prior to turning 18. Ms Fitzpatrick said Gavin had been in the company of an acquaintance at the party, where the car was parked up and the keys were readily available.
“He made a very foolish decision to drive,” she said, adding that both car owners had been compensated through their insurance companies.
Judge Catherine Staines requested that inquires be made to ascertain whether the two owners’ insurance premiums had increased and she told Gavin to start saving €50 a week. She remanded Gavin on continual bail to July 5 for a probation and community service report, with a recommendation of 200 hours’ community service in lieu of six months in prison. She also imposed driving disqualifications of four years and two years, effective immediately.
Gavin also faced a public order charge relating to April 9 this year.
Inspector Martin Harrington said that Gavin was in an intoxicated state on Main Street Portlaoise and was ordered to leave by gardaí. Gavin left, but he later returned to the scene.
He was charged with being intoxicated and failure to comply with the gardaí.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that her client had no difficulties on Main Street, he simply didn’t comply with the directions of the guards. Ms Fitzpatrick explained that Gavin had drank four cans on the night and he was not proud of his actions.
Ms Fitzpatrick went on to say that Gavin had since sought help for his drinking.
“He knows he’s fallen off the wagon in a big way and he’s asking for another chance,” she said.
Judge Staines said she would deal with any further penalties when she sees the probation report on July 5.