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Sunday 21 September 2014

Man found guilty of driving scrambler bike without insurance

Donal O'Hara jailed for five months and disqualified for five years

Published 17/06/2014 | 15:12

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The driver has been disqualified from driving for five years

A MAN who claimed he was not the driver of a scrambler motorbike, despite being recognised by gardai, has been sentenced to five months in prison for driving without insurance.

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Donal O'Hara has also been disqualified from driving for five years for the offence which took place on September 22nd, 2013 at Glin Road in Coolock.

O'Hara of Glin Park in Coolock had pleaded not guilty before Swords District Court to driving without insurance and driving without a driving licence on the day.

Garda Killian Laydon gave evidence that while he and Garda Keith Farrell were attempting to seize another vehicle in the area, a man on a scrambler motorbike drove into the area and began revving the buke up at them.

'The driver, whom we could identify as Donal O'Hara as he had no viser on his helmet and we could see his face, was goading at us looking for a chase,' said Gda Laydon.

'We then went to his house and he wasn't there.'

Defence counsel Patrick Jackson said O'Hara will say he was standing nearby with a friend when the car was being seized and that it was not him on the scrambler motorbike.

The following day, Gda Laydon went to O'Hara's home where O'Hara became abusive at him when he asked for his insurance and driving licence.

Gda Laydon said O'Hara's father also became abusive to him and told him not to enter his garden.

Gda Farrell also said that they had to leave O'Hara's house as the situation became 'hostile.'

O'Hara told the court he was standing near his house with a friend and he saw someone on a scrambler bike speeding around.

He said the next day when gardai arrived at his house he admitted saying to them to 'F**k off out of me garden. I wasn't driving.'

O'Hara's friend Brian Naughton said he was standing with O'Hara when the car was being seized and agreed with Gda Laydon that he had to 'be reminded of the incident.'

'I haven't got a good memory. I could barely remember my child's birthday,' he admitted.

Mr Jackson put it to the court that it was a case of identification evidence, which he said, is of the weakest pillar.

'If this case was in a higher court or of a more serious charge such as murder, identification alone would not be sufficient for a conviction,' said Mr Jackson.

However, Judge Dermot Dempsey said he is accepting the evidence given by the gardai and said that there was 'clear evidence of corroboration' between O'Hara and Mr Naughton.

O'Hara, who has 15 previous convictions, is completing a computer and heath and fitness course and is trying to get his life in order, the court heard.

Judge Dempsey said he did not think community service was appropriate, nor a suspended sentence, and convicted and sentenced him to five months in prison for driving without insurance.

He also disqualified him from driving for five years.

He convicted and fined O'Hara €200 for driving without a driving licence.

He fixed recognisance in the event of an appeal.

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