Man with litany of traffic charges is lucky to escape jail

first_imgA judge has told a Buncrana man he was ‘extremely fortunate’ not to be going to jail.Ricky Fagan (25) was before Buncrana District Court where he was convicted on a series of road traffic and public order offences, all relating to separate incidents in 2016 and 2017. Solicitor, Mr Rory O’Brien said his client was pleading to all charges before the court, other than a number of matters that he had discussed with Superintendent Eugene McGovern.Amongst the charges before the court were six for driving without insurance, but Fagan argued that he was insured on the days of these incidents.Mr O’Brien told the court that the insurance had been cancelled retrospectively by the insurance company, but argued that this did not invalidate it.Judge Paul Kelly noted that he had heard details in the majority of the eleven dates in total before the court at previous sittings.The judge heard new details of an incident involving three counts of alleged dangerous driving in Carndonagh on October 16, 2016.Garda Conor Mulkerrins told the court that on the morning in question he was on patrol as an observer in a marked patrol vehicle outside the Tul na Rí Nightclub.Judge Kelly heard the garda’s attention was drawn to a black Audi A4 ‘shadowing’ a minibus, causing annoyance and preventing it from leaving the club’s car park.Garda Mulkerrings told the judge that his colleague Garda James Lyons pulled the patrol car behind the Audi and flashed the lights.“The driver side window was open and the driver looked back and I recognised him as Ricky Fagan. I also recognised the vehicle as belonging to the defendant.”When the Audi exited the club’s car park the driver spun the wheels as it drove onto the main road and pulled up at a nearby junction. Garda Mulkerrins said until this manoeuvre he had no reason to speak to the driver.The patrol car followed the Audi to the next junction where it was parked. When Garda Mulkerrins got out and approached the vehicle, the driver ‘put the foot down’ accelerated and sped away from the garda.Judge Kelly heard that the gardaí followed the Audi over a 3km distance, observing the vehicle driving at a speed of up to 150kmh in an 80kmh zone.The garda said due to the speed and manner of driving involved in the pursuit, they made the decision to disengage with the vehicle. “At that stage I was happy that I had recognised the driver and the vehicle.”Garda Mulkerrins said he made two attempts to speak to the defendant, but to no avail and summonses were subsequently issued.Taking to the witness stand, Fagan told the court that it was not him driving and that he was, in fact, sitting in the back seat, on the driver’s side of the Audi.Fagan told the judge that as he was drinking a friend of his girlfriend’s, Shannon Doherty, drove his Audi on the night in question. He said, when the gardaí approached the vehicle Ms Doherty ‘panicked and took off’.Supt McGovern that this was the first time that the defendant had brought it to their attention that he was not driving on the night.Sergeant Maurice Doyle also gave evidence in court relating to another incident. He told the court that on November 27, 2016 he was called to the scene of a road traffic collision at 11.49pm involving a garda car and another vehicle.The court heard that while operating a speed check at Carnamaddy, Burt a vehicle was detected driving at a speed of 175kmh in a 100 zone.The vehicle overtook a number of vehicles on a continuous white line on a bend, forcing a VW Jetta to take evasive action into the hard shoulder.Judge Kelly heard the Jetta hit something that forced it go onto the other side, subsequently hitting the garda vehicle.The vehicle registration led Sgt Doyle to Fagan who met the garda by appointment at Buncrana Garda Station on March 5, 2017 and said on his advice of his solicitor he was not going to answer questions in relation to the vehicle.Judge Kelly noted that Fagan had kept the Probation Service busy for the last couple of years and acknowledged that the defendant’s engagement with the service had been ‘reasonably good’ in recent times.“Mr Fagan, you’re extremely fortunate not to be leaving in custody. Taking into consideration what the Probation Service and your solicitor have said on your behalf, and your involvement in a fatality, I hope it shows you the danger to yourself and others driving in this manner can be.“If you’re before me again, there will be a lengthy custodial sentence involved.This is the one chance you’ll get from me,” Judge Kelly said.Supt McGovern said Fagan had previous convictions, the most recent being a conviction for obstruction for which he spent three months in prison.Mr O’Brien told Judge Kelly that his client was familiar to the court and had gone through a ‘difficult upbringing’.The solicitor said Fagan was left to fend for himself for a long time and ‘his lifestyle choices got in the way’.Judge Kelly heard the defendant was now working full-time as a ‘chippie’ in Dublin and recently also taken over a convenience shop in Letterkenny, now known as Fagan’s, employing three people and was very hopeful to ‘make it work’.The defendant was fined €500 and disqualified from driving for two years for having no insurance and his false declaration to obtain insurance on August 19, 2016.For driving without insurance at An Pairc Mór, Buncrana on August 21, 2016 Judge Kelly sentenced Fagan to 60 hours community service in lieu of two months imprisonment and a mandatory four-year driving disqualification.Fagan received a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, and a four-year driving disqualification, to run concurrently, for driving without insurance at Cockhill Road, Buncrana on September 11, 2016.For Fagan’s dangerous driving at Magherad, Churchlandquarters, Carndonagh on October 16, 2016 Judge Kelly made a separate order of 60 hours community service in lieu of a two-month prison sentence.He also imposed another four-year driving disqualification to run concurrently. The other two dangerous driving charges were taken into consideration.He also received a separate order of 40 hours community service in lieu of a one-month sentence, to run concurrently, for his threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour on a date in December, 2016.For failing to give information to a Sergeant Doyle on March 5, 2017 in relation to the incident at Burt in November, 2016, Fagan received a €250 fine.Other charges of failing to produce an NCT certificate and insurance, disorderly conduct, intoxication in a public place, threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour and criminal damage were either struck out or taken into consideration.Man with litany of traffic charges is lucky to escape jail was last modified: October 5th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtGardaiJUDGERicky Fagantrafficlast_img

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