A man who yawned loudly in the courtroom at Portlaoise District Court before his case was heard last Thursday for driving 19 times over the permissible drug driving limit was asked by Judge Miriam Walsh: “Are you tired? You can get out before your case is called.”
When it was called the 35-year-old pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on 4 February 2020 on the M7 Motorway at Ballydavis, Portlaoise.
Judge Walsh noted: “You’ve woken up so.”
After the court heard the defendant had 102 previous convictions which included 30 road traffic offences, false imprisonment, public order, threats to kill and criminal damage, his barrister Suzanne Dooner said that her client “has a chequered past.”
“It’s incredible,” replied Judge Walsh.
The barrister said that her his previous convictions were “somewhat historic. The loss of his driving licence will have a significant impact on his family.”
“This happened in Portlaoise on the M7 in 2020. I’m shivering here thinking of someone like that on the road. He was 19 times over the limit. I’m absolutely shivering. You’re one hell of an example for your children,” said the Judge.
Before jailing the man for three months, fining him €1,500 and disqualifying him from driving for one year, Judge Walsh said: “I’m horrified thinking of someone driving with that amount of drugs in his system.”
At the behest of the defendant’s barrister, the judge went on grant a €1,500 own cash bail with an independent €3,000 cash lodgement.
Before disposing of the case Judge Walsh asked the man: “have you anything to say to the garda Ross Roy for the abuse you gave him on the day?”
“I’m sorry, he replied. “I was in the wrong frame of mind at the time.”
*Names of defendants in Portlaoise District Court cases are not printed on social media sites but in the Laois Nationalist newspaper that is available in your local shop or in our online edition here