Motorist given jail term for knocking down man who 'sexted' his wife
A father-of-four who spotted sexually explicit texts on his wife's phone caused serious injuries to the sender when he went to his home and drove at speed, causing him to crash into a wall of the property.
Gavin Heaphy (24) of Woodview Drive in Mallow, was jailed for three years with the last 18 months suspended for offences such as dangerous driving causing serious harm.
Garda PJ Roche told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that on May 27 last Mr Heaphy saw sexually suggestive messages on his wife's phone from a man. Although a disqualified driver, he got in his car and went to the home of the man.
The man was not to be found that morning so he parked his car and waited. When he did see him he drove at speed down the road.
Garda Roche said Mr Heaphy was unable to stop and he went through a wall at the house. The man he wanted to confront was injured, as was a woman who was near the wall.
She incurred wrist injuries whilst steel pierced the male party. The man required surgery after the incident. Both the man and the woman were given the opportunity to give victim impact statements but they declined.
Garda Roche said that Heaphy was a committed family man who hailed from difficult family circumstances in Cork city. He moved to Mallow in order to stay away from trouble.
Niamh Stewart, BL, defending said that her client wasn't in a good place at the time of the offence arising out of depression and anxiety.
He made full admissions and was very remorseful for his actions. It was a 'spur of the moment' incident, the court heard.
Judge Sean O Donnabhain said that the fact that Mr Heaphy failed to remain at the scene of the incident was a serious action in of itself. He stated that the offence occurred with the background of a disqualification in driving and was very grave.
Judge O Donnabhain said that Heaphy had a "disproportionate violent response" to the texts.
"Text messages are best dealt with by being deleted in most cases," he said.
He stated that Heaphy had "deliberately or recklessly lost control of his vehicle."
The male injured party spent five days in hospital.
Judge O Donnabhain acknowledged that Heaphy was from a "dysfunctional background" and had worked hard to better himself.
He jailed him for three years, suspending the last 18 months of the sentence. He also disqualified him from driving for 10 years.