Tuesday 19 March 2019

Hit-and-run driver who seriously injured cyclist was banned from driving, has 92 previous convictions - court hears

Jonathan Wainyae
Jonathan Wainyae

Declan Brennan

A hit-and-run driver who was banned from driving when he seriously injured a cyclist has been jailed for five years.

Jonathan Wainyae (33) of St Attracta Rd., Cabra, Dubliln pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious bodily injury and to failing to stop at the scene of a collision at Strand Road, Baldoyle, Dublin, on July 9, 2016.

Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced Wainyae to six years imprisonment for the dangerous driving offence with the final year suspended on conditions.

These include that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for three years and engage with the Probation Service for 18 months post release. She also disqualified him from driving for 25 years.

Judge Ryan also sentenced him to two years imprisonment for the charge of failing to stop at the scene. She backdated both sentences to July 12, 2018 and said they would run concurrently.

Detective Sergeant David Ennis told the court that the victim was well illuminated on the night. Jones Justino DaSilva was cycling home around midnight after finishing a shift in a restaurant in Howth when he was knocked off his bike by a car driven by Wainyae.

He suffered a spinal fracture and fractures to his right leg and as a result he was unable to continue working. He told the court that the effects of the injuries put a strain on his marriage and he and his wife eventually split up.

In an emotional statement to the court Mr DaSilva, a Brazilian national, said he came to Ireland with his wife to improve his English.

He said that after the accident he thought he was going to die. He said the period afterwards was very difficult and it took him a long time to recover.

Speaking through a Portuguese translator, he said he had to return to Brazil after the accident and felt depressed and suicidal at times.

“It changed my life very much. I had so many plans. My life was turned upside down. My marriage broke down,” he said.

In a written apology, read out in court by his defence barrister, Pieter Le Vert BL, Wainyae said “if I could turn back time and change what happened, I would.

“I would like to apologise to you and your family for the hurt and pain I have caused you. I only wish that I could sit down with you and explain in person that I thoroughly regret my actions.”

Wainyae, who was subject to a driving ban when he hit the cyclist, told the victim that “you were in the right place, it was me that should never have been on the road that night.”

He finished by saying “I don't expect you to forgive me. I do want you to know how sorry I am”.

Responding to this Mr DeSilva told the court that he accepted the apology.

“I have no issue against him. I would like this situation to make him think and he can have a better life in the future. It was probably a very hard time for both of us.

“From now on I can do my life and he can do a better life,” he said.

The majority of Wainyae's 92 previous convictions are for road traffic offences, but he also has convictions for assault, theft and drug dealing. Mr LeVert said he went into custody in 2014 and came out with a “full blown” heroin addiction.

He is currently serving a five year prison term imposed in 2016 for robbery. His barrister told the court that he is engaging with an addiction treatment programme in custody.

Judge Ryan said the aggravating factors in the case were his initially denying any involvement, his being disqualified from driving at the time, his having had 12 disqualifications in the past and the effect the collision had on the victim.

She said the mitigating factors in the case were his guilty plea, his apology, his remorse, his efforts at rehabilitation and the fact that he is using his time in custody well.

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