Disqualified driver jailed for knocking man down

Man handed himself in after incident then fled to London

Judge Ó Donnabháin told counsel that her client not having come to the attention of gardaí since the incident was not a mitigating factor as he had fled to London.

Judge Ó Donnabháin told counsel that her client not having come to the attention of gardaí since the incident was not a mitigating factor as he had fled to London.

 

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 the 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.

Detective Sergeant 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 the 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.

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 Ó Donnabháin 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 gardaí since the incident.

Judge Ó Donnabháin 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. She said that O’Donoghue had gone to London in a bid to make some money for his family and that 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.

However, Judge Ó Donnabháine said he could not ignore the fact that O’Donoghue had been disqualified from driving at the time of the incident or that he had subsequently fled the jurisdiction.

He jailed O’Donoghue for 12 months and disqualified him from driving for a period of seven years.