Driver convicted of causing friend’s death told to leave Ireland

Court hears Pavelaka Galba (63) from Czech Republic is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the fact that Pavelaka Galba had driven without insurance on the day in question and had left the jurisdiction after he been charged were all aggravating factors. File Photograph:  Collins Courts.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the fact that Pavelaka Galba had driven without insurance on the day in question and had left the jurisdiction after he been charged were all aggravating factors. File Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A 63-year-old man has been given a 12 month suspended sentence for careless driving causing the death of his friend on condition that he leaves Ireland within 24 hours.

Pavelaka Galba from the Czech Republic had pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and causing the death of Miroslav Kozel (59) at Ballybeg West, Buttevant, Co Cork on November 24th, 2014.

At Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Sgt Tony Cronin told how Galba was driving around near Ballybeg quarry when he lost control of the car and it careered out of control.

The car collided with an oncoming car and Mr Kozel was killed.

Galba was arrested following his discharge from hospital five days late.

The court heard had been charged some time later but failed to show up in court in 2016. Gardaí later obtained a European Arrest Warrant for his extradition back to Ireland from the Czech Republic.

Sgt Cronin said that Galba had been in custody since his extradition in July 2019.

He agreed with defence barrister, Sinead Behan BL, that her client was now seriously ill with Parkinson’s Disease.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the fact that Galba had driven without insurance on the day in question and had left the jurisdiction after he been charged were all aggravating factors.

However, the judge said overriding such aggravating factors was Galba’s deteriorating health and in those circumstances the most appropriate place for him was not prison but at home with his family.

He said that taking all factors into account, he believed the appropriate sentence was a 12 month term which he would suspend on condition that Galba would leave Ireland within 24 hours of his release on bail.

He also made it a condition of the suspension that Galba would not return to Ireland for a period of three years . He also disqualified him from driving in Ireland for a period of 10 years.