Man (21) sentenced to community service over crash that killed friend

Meath man convicted of careless driving as back-seat passengers did not wear seatbelts

The judge gave Rogers 18 months to complete the community service. Photograph: Stephen Hird/Reuters

The judge gave Rogers 18 months to complete the community service. Photograph: Stephen Hird/Reuters

 

A man has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service in lieu of 12 months in prison for careless driving, causing the death of one of his friends.

Pete Rogers (21), from Ballinaclieve, Moynalty, Kells, Co Meath, was the driver of a black Volkswagen Passat that was involved in a fatal collision in the early hours of May 14th, 2017.

The late Cormac Murphy (20) from Mullagh was a back-seat passenger in the car, which was carrying five others when it crashed at Claddagh Road, Rantavan.

Rogers pleaded guilty to careless driving causing death. The case was heard last week, with sentencing adjourned to Thursday.

Last week Judge John Aylmer heard that only Rogers and the other front-seat passenger, Edward O’Brien, were found to have been wearing seatbelts. The four sitting in the rear of the vehicle – the late Mr Murphy, his first cousin Mark O’Brien, Noel Lynch and Shauna Daly – were not.

On Thursday Judge Aylmer, passing sentence, said the most culpable factor was the fact Rogers was the driver and his passengers were not wearing seatbelts. The judge gave Rogers 18 months to complete the community service. He also banned him from driving for eight years.

Judge Aylmer noted that there was not sufficient evidence for the DPP to secure a conviction for dangerous driving, hence the amended charge of careless driving causing death.

All involved in the accident were aged 18-22 years and all suffered injuries. Mr Murphy died after spending several days in a coma after the crash.