Friday 23 February 2018

Driver who admitted killing student after 25 drinks jailed for five years

Kelly Gregan: knocked down and killed
Kelly Gregan: knocked down and killed

Brendan Furlong

A MOTORIST who had consumed 25 drinks before he knocked down and killed a young woman has been jailed for five years.

Paddy Cash (25) pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death of Kelly Gregan (20) in Gorey, Co Wexford, on October 24, 2010.

Cash had consumed six or seven pints of Guinness, 10 bottles of Guinness, and eight drinks of Aftershocks, Vodka, and Guinness over a five-hour period.

When he was arrested, Cash denied any knowledge of what had happened. He claimed his car had earlier been stolen while he was out for a drink with his wife. Two weeks later, on the advice of his father and mother, he made a full statement of admission to gardai.

Garda Eamonn O'Sheil told Wexford Circuit Criminal Court that Ms Gregan was an arts student at Limerick University, and lived with her mother and two sisters at Kilcavan, Tara Hill, Gorey, Co Wexford.

Gda O'Sheil said that on October 23, 2010, Ms Gregan and her friend Gillian Fitzgerald went out to socialise in Gorey.

In the early hours of the morning they left the 02 Night Club at approximately 1.45am.

They went to a late-night food outlet nearby. At the time there was a large number of people on the street.

Having left the chip shop, they went across the road to friends outside the AIB. They were attempting to cross the road when they were both struck by a red Laguna.

The garda said that earlier in the evening, Cash was out socialising having been earlier drinking at his home.

At that point he had drank five to six bottles of Guinness. He drove to an off-licence in his car before returning home to Hollyfort Road, Gorey, Co Wexford, to continue drinking.

Shortly after midnight, Gda O'Sheil said Cash and others drove into Gorey, driving into the centre of the town, going to the Malibu Night Club on Pearse Street.

He had more drinks. Having left the premises at about 2.15am, Garda Trevor McCormack observed him walking on the footpath, at which time he appeared to be staggering and highly intoxicated.

The investigating garda said that at this point and time patrons were exiting the 02 Night Club and Ms Gregan and Ms Fitzgerald had been among those on the main street.

The two women, he said, went to cross the road at the junction when the car been driven by the defendant came up the Avenue at speed.

While the traffic lights were showing green there was a large amount of people on the road standing and also crossing the road. The vehicle maintained its speed or sped up as it approached the junction, the garda said.

When the girls were struck, the car did not stop. The car was found two kilometres away the following morning.

On November 11, 2010, Cash went to Gorey Garda Station when he gave a voluntary statement. He had 29 previous convictions, 28 road traffic related offences, while he was driving while disqualified.

Defence counsel Patrick McCarthy said Cash was attending the Cornmarket Centre as he tried to get his life back in order. He also said that in his statement he voluntarily disclosed the amount of drink he had taken.

Judge Thomas Teehan said that words were quite inadequate to describe what befell the Gregan family on this Sunday morning. He also said that the Gregan family had painted a moving picture of their loss.

Judge Teehan sentenced Cash to seven years in prison, with the final two years suspended, on condition the defendant enter a bond to keep the peace for seven years on his release from prison.

He also disqualified the defendant from driving for 20 years.

Leave to appeal was also refused.

Irish Independent

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