Sunday 11 December 2016

Man who left cyclist with brain trauma after hitting him with van jailed

Fiona Ferguson

Published 30/11/2015 | 17:09

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A Longford man who hit a cyclist with a van causing severe brain trauma has been jailed for one year.

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Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Dylan Meade (21) told gardaí that he took over driving from his brother in law who was “out of his head on pills.” Meade was not found to have had any intoxicants in his system.

Meade of An Cussan, Lisbrack Road, Longford pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious harm, failing to stop after an accident, driving without a licence and driving without insurance at the Ongar Distribution Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin on August 2 2013.

Judge Catherine Murphy imposed a three and a half year sentence with the final two and a half years suspended on strict conditions which include probation supervision, abstinence from drug and alcohol use and attending all scheduled mental health appointments.

She said the sentence may appear light to the family of the victim but told them that if Meade did not comply with the conditions of the suspended portion of the sentence it would be activated.

Garda Niall Phelan said that the van had been involved in “at least” two incidents on the day before Meade took over driving. He told gardaí that he took over driving from his brother in law because he was “out of his head on pills.” Meade was not found to have had any intoxicants in his system.

Gda Phelan said that a number of witnesses at the scene saw the van Meade was driving hit cyclist,Alex Dobresku.

One witness said the cyclist was thrown eight to ten feet in the air. A forensic collision analysis said the cyclist was hit at 57kmph.

Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, read a statement from Mr Dobresku, a Romanian father-of-one in his early 30s, which said, “I would be dead now if it were not for God and the doctors.”

He also said, “the guy who hit me not only destroyed my life, he destroyed my future.”

A statement from the Mr Dobresku’s wife was also read to the court which described the effect of the accident on their family’s life.

She said he was emotionally and psychologically like a 15 year old, that he acted inappropriately in public, and had great difficulty being a parent to their five year old daughter. She also said he now behaved violently and unpredictably, and had become paranoid since the accident.

The victim suffered severe brain trauma and had amnesia for four months. His statement said that he only knew he was in an accident because he had been told what had happened.

Thomas Hogan BL, defending, said that Meade took over the driving because he wanted to get home to Longford as quickly as possible because his brother in law was acting up after taking a “fistful” of pills.

Mr Hogan said his client was offering an apology through him and asked the court to take into account Meade's early guilty plea.

He submitted that reports handed into court outlined his client, who had a difficult psychiatric history, had been making some progress but had been finding it hard. He said Meade had started a course with a view to getting employment in the future.

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