Saturday 7 December 2019

Heroin addict who knocked down and killed a woman sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail

Courts of Criminal Justice
Courts of Criminal Justice

Aoife Nic Ardghail and Declan Brennan

A heroin addict who knocked down and killed a woman has been given a three and a half year sentence with one year suspended.

Philip Trimble (35) later told gardaí he wished it was he who had died and not the victim. The father-of-four took to the stand at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to express his remorse to the family.

Trimble, of Oscar Traynor Road, Santry, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Mrs Frances McCarthy (56) on Middle Abbey Street in Dublin city centre on January 11 last year (2013).

The court heard Trimble had been driving at over 50 mph when his blue Hyundai traversed the road, mounted a footpath and hit a roadside signpost near Marks and Spencers.

Mrs McCarthy was run over by the car and pronounced dead at the Mater Hospital a short time later.

Her sister, Mary O'Connor and a third pedestrian. Brian Sexton. were lifted onto the bonnet, carried some yards and thrown to the ground in the same collision.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed the three and a half year sentence with one year suspended. He was banned from driving for 30 years.

The victim's husband, Denis McCarthy, said his family was grateful that Trimble had pleaded guilty and accepted full responsibility, but asked him to agree not to drive again so as to spare the suffering of any other family.

Judge Ring said she accepted that Trimble had shown remorse.

 “He travelled quite a distance down a road, clearly in the wrong direction, went onto the pavement in a diagonal projection knocking over a sign, and was driving at 50 mph in a 30 mph zone,” she said.

The court heard that Trimble became addicted to heroin at the age of 15 and is now on methadone maintenance.

His defence counsel, Bernard Condon SC, described him as “a man in the throes of deep remorse” who was prepared to take any consequences for his actions if it would relieve the distress of the family.

In a moving victim impact report read out on his behalf, Mr McCarthy said his life as he had known it “came to a sudden end” when his wife of 27 years was killed by the car.

Mr McCarthy said his life without his wife, best friend and soul mate was “truly awful” and that he missed her constantly.

He spoke of the devastation and crushing loss felt by himself, his four children and by his wife's family, singling out her elderly mother.

“When I brought her mother to see her youngest child laid out, it was the hardest blow of all,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said Frances was an “amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister-in-law and highly dedicated midwife”, adding that her many patients and colleagues were also traumatised by her loss. His wife was 100 per cent innocent and had simply been walking along the footpath.

“Anyone here today could easily have been walking on Abbey Street, but it was my wife who was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

“She was only one of a kind, and the world is a poorer place without her”

Irish Independent

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