A 31-YEAR-old pizza shop worker from Skibbereen with seven previous convictions has been convicted and fined €500 for careless driving and disqualified from driving for a year.
Alex Watkins, Apt 25, The Quay, Main St, Skibbereen pleaded guilty to careless driving at a recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court.
He had a charge of drink driving withdrawn by the prosecution, after the only witness declined to give a statement.
Supt Ger O’Mahony told the court that on November 28th last year gardaí in Clonakilty were alerted about a single vehicle collision at Lisselan where the defendant’s car hit a ditch. When gardaí arrived on the scene the defendant identified himself as the driver and he was removed to CUH by ambulance. The court was told that there was another person in the car at the time of the collision, that no other car was involved, and there were no other witness statements.
‘There was a sleeping passenger in the back seat and he didn’t know what happened,’ said Supt O’Mahony.
Judge James McNulty said the defendant seems ‘to have considerable form’ as he has seven previous convictions for a mixture of driving and drug offences.
‘It’s very strange that his car hit a ditch and he’s fortunate that the more serious charge of drink driving was withdrawn by the prosecution,’ commented Judge McNulty.
Solicitor Eamonn Fleming said that his client’s last driving offence was in 2009 and Mr Fleming produced a letter from his client’s employer, saying that he is a valued employee. Mr Fleming added that his client was fully co-operative with gardaí on the night and that no substances were found on him and that he was breathalysed.
‘He would like to stay on the road and not be disqualified and his car was roadworthy,’ said Mr Fleming.
Judge McNulty said the defendant has a history of convictions for careless and uninsured driving, as well as driving while under the influence of intoxicants and has convictions for drugs, too.
‘By any standards it was a serious incident,’ said Judge McNulty. Recognisances in the event of an appeal were fixed in the defendant’s own bond of €750, with a third to be provided in cash.