A former bus driver who pleaded guilty to careless driving over a collision in which a motorcyclist died has been fined €500.
Olusola Omobamidele’s driving did not cause the death of Keith McGann and he could not be sentenced as if that were the case, Judge Martin Nolan told the McGann family at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Friday.
“For the people here who have borne the death of Mr McGann, this doesn’t seem like justice,” Judge Martin Nolan said.
However, he said Omobamidele had admitted to careless driving “simpliciter”, which meant his driving did not cause the death of Mr McGann (38).
Careless driving simpliciter does not carry a prison sentence, but a maximum fine of €5,000.
Omobamidele (51), of The Village, Porterstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of driving a bus without due care and attention at Constitution Hill, Dublin on October 19th, 2014. He has no previous convictions.
Sgt Michael Croke told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Mr McGann was on his way home shortly after 11pm when Omobamidele turned a corner “a little too soon” while on his way to the Phibsborough bus depot.
Mr McGann tried to change lanes but collided with the front of the bus. He suffered massive head injuries and died a short time later in hospital.
A victim impact statement from his widow Cynthia McGann was read out in court by counsel. She said her world changed when her “beautiful-hearted husband” and father of their three children died.
She said that for a long time afterwards her children kept asking “when is daddy coming home?” She said every family celebration was now tinged with grief at the loss of the “gentle giant”.
She said the court case dragging on for five years had taken its toll on their family and she criticised Dublin Bus, which she said never contacted the family to express its condolences.
Omobamidele wiped his eyes repeatedly as the victim impact statement was read out. The court heard he was originally due to stand trial for a charge of careless driving causing death but the Director of Public Prosecutions accepted a plea to careless driving simpliciter.
Cathal O Braonáin BL, defending, said his client was distraught in the wake of Mr McGann’s death and had not driven a vehicle since – either professionally or personally. “He felt profound sorrow at the loss of life,” he said.
Omobamidele had worked for Dublin Bus for 12 years prior to the incident and was seeking promotion to inspector, but left the company of his own accord shortly afterwards. He has not worked since.
He is a father of five children and his marriage has broken up in the years since the accident, the court heard. He has spent much of his time in Nigeria in recent years caring for his father, who died recently. He is hoping to look for work in the coming months.
Judge Nolan accepted Omobamidele was profoundly affected by the death of Mr McGann. Handing down a €500 fine, he agreed that a driving disqualification was unnecessary, given the self-imposed ban Omobamidele had undertaken for the last five years.
The judge expressed his condolences to Mr McGann’s widow, parents and extended family who were in court.