A college graduate looking forward to interviewing for jobs was knocked down and seriously injured by a motorist who drove away from the scene and the victim said you would not do this to an animal.
David Grant O’Sullivan of 28 McDonagh Road, Ballyphehane, Cork, was tracked down following a media campaign.
Garda Kevin Motherway said a panel-beater contacted gardaí the day after the incident about a driver with damage to his car which was consistent with what happened.
Grant O’Sullivan was jailed for one year at Cork Circuit Criminal Court and banned from driving for six years. He had never been in any kind of trouble before.
The young woman said she would never forget the support she got from her two friends who were with her on the night of the accident, and her family who supported her throughout her recovery.
The Masters graduate could accept that accidents happened but found it hard to think of the motorist not coming forward to accept his responsibility.
"He drove away without any regard for the person left on the road," the victim said. "You would not do it to an animal.”
Donal O’Sullivan defence barrister said, “The accused is genuinely remorseful albeit too late in the day. It would have been better if he was remorseful earlier. He wants to apologise not just for the accident but that it took too long to come to his senses.”
The defence barrister said the 23-year-old had done well in his life otherwise.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “If you listen to what the victim said. She is there on the road injured and no one (responsible for it) comes near her. No one is identified save after an extensive trawl of CCTV and a campaign on the newspapers and social media.
“It is an awful thing to do to leave the scene of an accident with an injured person there. You can understand panic – maybe they have drink in them, maybe this, maybe that – but he did not just leave in panic, he never came back. He thought about it, contemplated it and never came back.”
The judge said that even when he was interviewed in the course of three garda interviews there was hesitancy and prevarication.
Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed a sentence of 12 month suspended on the charge of careless driving causing serious injury to the young woman.
He then imposed a two-year sentence with half of it suspended on the accused for leaving the scene of the accident at Magazine Road, Cork, at 3am on October 26 2019. He also banned him from driving for six years.
The young woman who was injured also thanked Garda Motherway and medical staff at Mercy University Hospital.