Sunday 4 December 2016

Man (32) who knocked down and killed 77-year-old woman avoids jail

Jessie Magee and Sonya McLean

Published 05/05/2015 | 12:50

Carl Feighery who pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing death of Rose Douglas (77)
Carl Feighery who pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing death of Rose Douglas (77)

A man who killed a 77-year-old woman when he knocked her down as she was crossing the road has been ordered to perform community service in lieu of a jail term.

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When evidence was heard in March the family of Rose Douglas said it is of some comfort to them to know that she was not at fault when Carl Feighery (32) struck her.

Ms Douglas died from her injuries after she was knocked down by a car on the North Road, Finglas, Dublin 11 on January 9, 2013.

Today Judge Martin Nolan heard that Feighery has been deemed suitable for community service by the Probation Service. The judge imposed 240 hours of community service to be completed within 12 months in lieu of a two year sentence.

Photo of late Rose Douglas, from Casement Road, Finglas, Dublin.
Photo of late Rose Douglas, from Casement Road, Finglas, Dublin.
James Douglas, wife of late Rose Douglas, at home in Casement Road, Finglas, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Feighery has already been disqualified from driving for five years.

Judge Nolan previously said he had to concentrate on the driving that gave rise to the offence and indicated that, after considering the evidence, he could not find any aggravating circumstances, such as drink driving, excessive speed or prolonged dangerous driving.

“He is guilty of losing focus,” Judge Nolan said which he described as “a human frailty”.

He said in his opinion it would be unfair to imprison Feighery for this type of driving, “even though the consequences have been dreadful” for the Douglas family and their friends.

Feighery, an electrician with an address at Millbourne Crescent, Ashbourne, County Meath, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing death.

Judge Nolan told the Douglas family, on hearing evidence that he was very sorry for their loss, describing the late Mrs Douglas as a great woman for her family, her husband and the church.

“She was a very fine person, an old-fashioned lady in the best sense of the word,” he said.

Mrs Douglas' son Dermot read a victim impact statement to the court on behalf of his family describing the devastating consequences of his mother's death.

He said his mother had been more than a wife, a mother-of-six, a grandmother-of-15 and a great-grandmother-of-one; but had also been very active within the community and the church.

He said Mrs Douglas was a Minister for the Eucharist who went to Lourdes every year with the infirm and volunteered for the local St Francis' Hospice.

On the morning of her death, she left the house to collect charity boxes for the hospice from a local garage, telling her husband she was just popping out for a minute.

Dermot Douglas said his father has not had a happy day since his wife of 60 years was killed and has been afraid to leave the house in case he misses her coming home. He said his family understands it was a tragic accident and that Feighery's early guilty plea has made their difficulties a little easier.

He said the Douglas family would like to think that, at some stage, Feighery would decide to do some charity work in memory of their late mother.

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