A FARMER who caused a serious leg injury for his neighbour on his motorcycle has actively assisted the injured man getting to his hospital visits and tended to him during his initial recovery.
Con Barrett of Liscubba, Rossmore, Clonakilty, County Cork, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention thereby causing harm to his neighbour Neil O’Donovan on August 7, 2019.
A spike from the front loader of Con Barrett’s tractor struck Mr O’Donovan’s leg causing multiple fractures which necessitated several surgical interventions.
Mr Barrett, who fully cooperated with the garda investigation from the earliest moments, said that he was momentarily blinded by the sun and did not see his neighbour. A car also passed just before the accident and Mr Barrett mistakenly believed that the way was clear after the car.
Garda Shane Hayes said that in the course of the victim impact statement Mr O’Donovan pointed out that the defendant and members of his family had been of great assistance to him bringing him to and from hospital.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin noted all of this but said it was a fundamental duty on all motorists to keep a proper lookout at all times.
The judge said he accepted what the defendant said to gardaí about the bright sunshine at the time of the accident.
“But he was not keeping a proper lookout and he collided with the motorcyclist causing very significant leg injuries.
“To Mr Barrett’s credit he and his family materially assisted with the recovery,” the judge said.
Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed a one-year suspended sentence on Con Barrett and imposed the minimum disqualification period required following such a conviction, namely a four-year driving ban.
Garda Hayes said of the injured party, “He has made a good recovery. He is now walking with the assistance of a crutch.”