Jail for Cork paramedic who drove under influence of cocaine

Sergeant Pat Lyons said that a motorist on the Cork to Mallow Road became so concerned about Martina O’Sullivan driving on to the wrong side of the road and otherwise driving erratically that he managed to overtake her and signal for her to stop
Jail for Cork paramedic who drove under influence of cocaine

Judge Olann Kelleher said of the intervention: “Members of the public have to be commended for stopping her before someone was killed on the Mallow Road, which is a dangerous road.

An advanced paramedic who became addicted to the painkilling drug oxycontin has been jailed for five months for several offences including repeatedly driving under the influence of cocaine and having no insurance.

Sergeant Pat Lyons said that a motorist on the Cork to Mallow Road became so concerned about Martina O’Sullivan driving on to the wrong side of the road and otherwise driving erratically that he managed to overtake her and signal for her to stop.

Judge Olann Kelleher said of this intervention: “Members of the public have to be commended for stopping her before someone was killed on the Mallow Road, which is a dangerous road.

“People on the Mallow Road that day are lucky to be alive.”

Judge Kelleher imposed a jail term of five months on 43-year-old O’Sullivan of 14 Upper St Joseph’s Road, Mallow, County Cork, on counts including dangerous driving, having no insurance, drug driving and possession of diamorphine (heroin) for her own use.

The heroin possession was detected at Charlemont Terrace, Wellington Road, Cork, when O’Sullivan was seen discarding items in her car.

A bag of heroin was recovered. It had a street value of €280 and she admitted having it for her own personal use.

When she was later tested for the presence of intoxicants in her blood, cocaine use was detected.

The incident on Mallow Road occurred on September 26, 2019, when a concerned motorist called gardaí and notified them that he had managed to get another motorist to stop and pull in after she had been driving erratically.

Sgt Lyons said: “She appeared to be disoriented. She didn’t know where she was.”

When she was blood-tested after this incident, traces of benzodiazepine, opiates and cocaine were discovered.

She had been driving from Mallow to Cork and drove in to the path of oncoming traffic.

Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said O’Sullivan had qualified as an advance paramedic and she was based at Mallow hospital for a period and had her own jeep for travelling to emergency situations — on one occasion while dealing with a man who fell under machinery on a farm and went into a diabetic coma.

Mr Kelleher said that while O’Sullivan was trying to treat the patient in this difficult situation he rolled over and “she got crushed between him and the machine.” She was seriously injured.

“She was put on medication — she was put on oxycontin. She might as well have been prescribed diamorphine. She was on it for two years,” Mr Kelleher said.

He said she was later put on similar drugs and had to go cold turkey to get come off the drugs. Mr Kelleher said she was incredibly sick.

“As an advanced paramedic she knew where people went to get illicit tablets.

“Someone said, ‘These will help you’,” Mr Kelleher said in relation to the accused getting on to illegal drugs.

“Before oxycontin she had not got as much as a parking ticket. Since all of this she has stabilised from oxycontin but she has a long road,” Mr Kelleher said.

Judge Kelleher said after hearing all of the submissions made in mitigation: “I do note the accused did have an unfortunate turn of events but this does not absolve her from driving in this manner.”

The judge noted that she also have five previous convictions for driving without insurance as he imposed a total jail term of five months on her for the offences before Cork District Court.

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