Young driver 'panicked' and fled crash scene

Eimear Cotter

An apprentice carpenter who "panicked' and drove away from an accident has been told by a judge that he could face up to four years off the road.

Patrick Wolf, who is in his 20s, said he is studying carpentry in Tallaght and needs his car to be able to get to college.

However Judge Patrick Brady said hit-and-run was a very serious offence and that legislation on this was becoming more and more strict.

He added that the legislation was "crystal clear", and that a hit-and-run conviction now carries a disqualification of four years.

John Hennessy, defending, argued that a disqualification was at the discretion of the judge and said that Wolf needs his car to get from Swords to college in Tallaght.

Wolf, of Melesian Grove, in Swords, admitted before Swords District Court to failing to remain at the scene of an accident. The incident took place on Malahide Road, Swords, on January 4 last year.

Garda Ruth Molloy said she was called to the scene where she spoke to the injured party, who said she was travelling towards Malahide when a black car struck her from behind.

The woman was taken by ambulance to hospital after her car was rear-ended, where she was treated for minor injuries.

Garda Molloy said Wolf failed to stop and remain at the scene of the accident. Gardai later found a car matching the description and this car was registered to Wolf. He admitted driving away from the accident.


Mr Hennessy said the airbags on Wolf's car were activated in the crash, he was frightened, he panicked and left the scene.

He said Wolf now realises he made a stupid mistake by leaving the scene but wasn't thinking clearly. The court heard that Wolf, whose girlfriend recently had a baby, was fully insured, and his insurance company is dealing with the matter.

Judge Brady adjourned sentencing to allow Mr Hennessy to make submissions in relation to a driving ban.