News Courts

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Mum who drove into elderly woman in car park fined €1K and ordered to do community service

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Stock Picture

Brion Hoban

A woman who drove into an elderly lady in a car park causing her multiple fractures has been ordered to carry out community service.

Sarah Hanson (44) of Thomas Davis Street, Inchicore, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to careless driving causing serious harm at a retail park in Clondalkin, Dublin on November 13, 2015.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan said he wasn't going to impose a custodial sentence. He sentenced Hanson to 120 hours of community service and fined her €1,000.

Garda John Paul Cushen told Caroline Cummings BL, prosecuting, said Hanson had been driving in the car park of a retail park.

She turned her head to the left while turning into a right-hand corner to check another car was not about to turn into her.

Her car struck Ms Sandra Molloy (72), who was walking back to her own car. An ambulance was called and Ms Molly was brought to Tallaght Hospital.

Ms Molly suffered two broken legs, a fracture to her pelvis and a fracture to the base of her skull.

She spent 32 days in Tallaght Hospital, nine of which were spent in the intensive care unit.

She had multiple surgeries in the days and weeks following the accident. She underwent further surgery in 2016 and is currently using a wheelchair.

Fiona Murphy BL, defending, said that Ms Hanson had not been speeding and had taken responsibility for the accident immediately. She said her client was “very remorseful and filled with shame”.

Ms Hanson has no previous convictions or penalty points. She works as a clinical psychologist and has three children with her partner.

Judge O’Sullivan said the mitigating factors in the case were the guilty plea, the lack of previous convictions, the character references from Ms Hanson’s colleagues at St Patrick’s Mental Health Hospital, her remorse and her children.

He described the accident as a “significant mistake” and said “she should have seen the pedestrian, she should have been looking where she was going.”

Judge O’Sullivan accepted that Hanson had “absolutely no intention” of doing Ms Molly harm. He expressed sympathy for Ms Molly but said his judgment was not decided on the extent of her injuries.

“You don’t look at the injuries,” said Judge O’Sullivan, “you look at the driving.”

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