Death crash driver escapes two-year jail sentence
A MAN who admitted dangerous driving causing the death of a friend escaped two years in jail yesterday when a court ruled he should carry out community service instead.
The Court of Criminal Appeal ruled that a 240-hour community service order should be imposed on Robert Carroll (24), of Firhouse, Tallaght, in lieu of a two-year jail term.
Carroll originally received a one-year suspended term at Dublin Circuit Court in December 2008, having admitted to dangerous driving causing the death of Louise Blacoe (22) on the M50 Southbound, Shankill, on March 23, 2007.
Sentencing judge Frank O'Donnell also banned Carroll, who had no previous convictions, from driving for seven years.
Following a successful application by the DPP, the Court of Criminal Appeal increased this to a two-year sentence.
However, lawyers for Carroll successfully argued for a further adjournment, allowing time for the preparation of a report assessing his suitability for community service as an alternative to a custodial sentence.
Presiding judge Mrs Justice Fidelma Macken, said the court believed the imposition of the maximum community service term would present a "significant" and "very visible" deterrent to young men and young women who might seek to engage in similar activities.
Mrs Justice Macken said that Carroll's actions in driving at speed in a highly modified car without relevant experience were "particularly reprehensible" and had far-reaching consequences for both him and the family of Ms Blacoe.
However, she said the court noted that Carroll was "extremely remorseful" and had not driven since the incident.
Mrs Justice Macken said the court also had regard to the fact that Carroll had not come to attention of gardai since committing the offence, was in full-time employment and had demonstrated "stability and responsibility" in his daily life.