Disqualified Cork driver jailed for knocking man down

Disqualified Cork driver jailed for knocking man down

Olivia Kelleher

A disqualified driver who drove his car at a man and struck him to the ground before going on to physically assault him, has been jailed for a year and banned from driving for seven years.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that father of four, Patrick O'Donoghue, of Millbrook Close, Glanmire, Co Cork was socialising in the Fob and Gill Pub in Mayfield in the city on September 11th, 2016.

He left the pub and picked up the injured party and two other men. A dispute ensued at Shannon Lawn in Mayfield with Mr O'Donoghue getting enraged after he noticed damage to his windscreen. He blamed one of the men.

Dt Sgt Kieran O’Sullivan told the court that the 34-year-old knocked the man to the ground in his vehicle. He then got out of the car and kicked and punched him.

The man was taken to Cork University Hospital where he was treated for fractures to his right leg. He has since made a full recovery. Gardaí located the car driven by Mr O'Donoghue two days later.

On September 15th 2016 Mr O'Donoghue handed himself in to Mayfield Garda Station where he made full admissions as to his behaviour in the incident.

Fled to London

However, Dt Sgt O’Sullivan said that O'Donoghue subsequently fled the jurisdiction to London. He was finally arrested just over a week ago after he flew in to Cork Airport.

Judge Sean O'Donnabhain heard that O'Donoghue was disqualified from driving at the time of the incident and had 34 previous convictions - thirty of which involved road traffic offences. He has no previous convictions for assault.

Defence barrister Niamh Stewart said that her client had not come to the attention of gardai since the incident.

However, Judge O'Donnabhain said that this wasn't a mitigating factor as he was out of the jurisdiction for much of the time since the assault. Ms Stewart said that her client had exceptional family circumstances which needed to be factored in to sentencing.

Miss Stewart stressed that O’Donoghue had gone to London in a bid to make some money for his family. She said he was now in full time employment with a pharmaceutical company in Co Cork.

Mr O’Donoghue was supported in court by his wife, Maria, who pleaded for leniency on his behalf.

Disqualified

She said that Patrick was a good husband and father who had spent the last two and a half years in Cork having initially gone to London following the offence. The couple offered €4,500 in compensation to the victim.

Judge O'Donnabhain said that he had never asked for compensation in the case and told the family to keep the money for their own needs.

He said that Mr O'Donoghue had driven a car at a man and "broke his leg" whilst failing to even turn up in court to face the case.

He claimed that a major aggravating factor in the case was that the offence occurred when O'Donoghue was disqualified from driving.

He emphasised that he couldn't ignore the fleeing of the jurisdiction or the driving disqualification and jailed O'Donoghue for 12 months. He disqualified him from driving for a period of seven years.

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