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Van driver (42) who broke red light and hit baby in buggy avoids prison sentence

One year old child suffered a fractured skull in the collision in June 2017

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Fred Davis (42), of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he received a suspended sentence Photo: Collins Courts

Fred Davis (42), of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he received a suspended sentence Photo: Collins Courts

Fred Davis (42), of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he received a suspended sentence Photo: Collins Courts

A van driver who hit a baby buggy after breaking a red light has received a suspended prison sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that a one year old baby suffered a skull fracture and fractured ribs after the buggy she was in was hit by the van driven by Fred Davis (42) on June 21, 2017.

The child spent 13 days in hospital but had since made some recovery from her injuries.

Davis, a painter and decorator, was driving his work van when he failed to see the red light at a pedestrian crossing on the Malahide Road, in Coolock, north Dublin.

Garda Paul Sweeney told the court that a Dublin bus had stopped at the pedestrian lights in the bus lane to the left of the outside lane in which Davis was driving.

Having a green light for pedestrians to cross, the child's mother was pushing the buggy out across the road.

She pushed the buggy past the bus and the buggy was then hit by the van and travelled a short distance.

The court heard Davis, who has no other criminal convictions, got out of the van, ran over and fell down onto his knees at the buggy and child on the road.

Davis of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, subsequently pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention thereby causing serious harm to the child.

Garda Paul Sweeney said that Davis had his son, who was around the same age as the victim, in his van at the time.

He agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that there was no evidence of excessive speed and that Davis passed a breathalyser test for alcohol.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, told the court that his client was a family man and that he was extremely remorseful at the time of the incident and continues to be.

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He said he is a self-employed painter decorator and needs his van to work.

Judge Orla Crowe noted the mitigating factors set out by the defence, as well as his plea of guilty.

She said this was a momentary lapse of concentration which had awful consequences for the infant and her mother.

The court heard the child's mother has struggled with post traumatic stress disorder.

Judge Crowe said the child has had to overcome much adversity.

She said that given the sincerity of the remorse felt by Davis she did not see how the principle of deterrence could be served in any way by a custodial sentence.

The judge noted case law which states that in some cases a driving disqualification order may have it's own punitive effect on a particular defendant.

She said she was satisfied that the four year ban she would impose in this case would be a punishment on Davis.

She set a sentence of six months but suspended this.

The maximum penalty available for the offence is two years.

Judge Crowe said she wished the child and her mother the very best. The victim cannot be identified in accordance with the Children Act.


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