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Crash dad bought car as present to daughter

A FATHER-of-one caught driving without insurance bought the car with money he inherited from his parents so he could give it as a present to his teenage daughter, a court heard.

Jason Finlay (39) said his family had endured a difficult year, with both his parents and his sister dying, and the car was a surprise present for his daughter.

He begged a judge not to send him to prison, saying he was viciously attacked four weeks ago and his arm was broken in three places.

Finlay appeared before Tallaght District Court with his arm in a cast -- a number of plates were holding it together.

Judge James McDonnell banned Finlay from driving for seven years but postponed final sentencing until after Christmas, saying he has a significant injury and needs to get medical help for it.

Finlay, of Rathgar Road, Dublin admitted to driving without insurance or a driving licence on the N81 Tallaght Road on April 16.

Garda Paul Nolan said Finlay's 2001-registered red Nissan Micra rear-ended a black BMW and gardai were called to the scene of the crash.

Garda Nolan said Finlay was very vague about his personal details and was asked to produce his insurance and licence details to his local garda station. He failed to produce them.


The court heard that Finlay has six previous convictions, including three for driving without insurance.

He also has served lengthy prison sentences for robbery and assault.

Defence solicitor Grainne Malone said Finlay bought the car with a small sum of money he inherited from his deceased parents and he planned to give the car to his teenage daughter so she could learn to drive.

Ms Malone said Finlay has had a heroin problem for nearly half his life but has been drug-free for the last month.

She said he recognises that he now needs further help from the rehabilitation services to ensure he stays away from drugs.

The court heard that Finlay has not been in serious trouble for five or six years and was last banned from driving in 2002.

Ms Malone said that Finlay got behind the wheel of the car because he thought his driving ban was up, not realising the disqualification was for 12 years.

He was recently assaulted in a car park in Tallaght, said Ms Malone, and gardai are investigating that matter.

Judge McDonnell banned Finlay for seven years but adjourned sentencing until January next year so he can receive medical help for his broken arm.