A MOTORIST who took cocaine, cannabis and Benzodiazepine before wreaking havoc on one of the main roads in the Blackrock area of Cork in the middle of the day was jailed for five months today.
23-year-old William Busteed of Shamrock Park, Shamrock Lawn, Douglas, was also banned from driving for four years at Cork District Court.
Five vehicles were smashed in the driving rampage on Skehard Road on the occasion and an elderly woman was injured.
Killian O’Mullane, solicitor, asked Judge Olann Kelleher not to jail Busteed on the basis that he was now addressing his drugs problem.
“I think a custodial sentence would send him over the edge and result in him getting involved in greater drug use,” Mr O’Mullane said.
Judge Kelleher said, “He has been given a chance to attend drug treatment. He has not attended all of his appointments – he attended three sessions and failed to attend two.
“He is before the court for dangerous driving and driving under the influence of drugs. He had cocaine, cannabis and Benzodiazepine and went out on the road in a vehicle and wipes out three cars and causes injury to a woman minding her own business on the road.
“He is creating havoc on the public highway, wavering all over the road. I accept he has shown remorse but offences like these are too serious for society.”
The judge imposed an overall sentence of five months and banned him from driving for four years for dangerous driving and driving under the influence of drugs. A concurrent two-month sentence was imposed on him for an assault and threatening behaviour three days later.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis outlined the background to the offences.
The driving incident occurred at Skehard Road at noon on December 7, 2018. William Busteed was driving from the Well Road direction towards Skally’s Supervalu on Skehard Road and caused damaged to five vehicles including the Volkswagen Jetta he was driving.
Sgt. Davis said of Busteed, “He drove at speed against oncoming traffic. He undertook a number of cars and struck a van travelling against him. He then struck a car travelling the same direction in which he was travelling and collided with two parked cars.”
The second incident occurred on December 10, 2018, when he was driving by Pinecroft where he got into an altercation with a number of youths after an exchange of words. He pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening behaviour and assault, the details of which were that he grabbed the injured party around the neck held him in a choke-hold.
Mr O’Mullane solicitor said the accused had to move out of his family home and live with relatives as a result of his own behaviour. He said Busteed started using cannabis from the age of 19 and that it escalated since then.
The solicitor said that while there were a number of offences in the past they were all concentrated in a one-year period and that he had taken definite steps to address his drug issues since that time.
Recognisances in the event of an appeal of the jail term were set at €750 cash and an independent surety of €750.