GARDAÍ have described the scene of a car accident on March 20th last year as ‘pure carnage’, when a car carrying eight passengers on board overturned near ‘chip van corner’ on the Bandon to Innishannon road.
A 28-year-old father of two from Cork city, who was disqualified at the time and who drove a defective vehicle while being drunk, has been sentenced to three months in prison and disqualified from driving for five years, as a result.
Thomas Keenan (McCarthy) of 3 Ardcairn Villas, Ballintemple in Cork city appeared at a recent sitting of Bandon District Court on charges of driving a defective vehicle, drink driving, and also driving while being disqualified.
The court was told that, on March 20th 2015, gardaí in Bandon received a report of a car having overturned near ‘chip van corner’.
Garda O’Sullivan from Bandon Garda Station said when he arrived there it was ‘a scene of carnage’ and five ambulances were called. Mr Keenan told Garda O’Sullivan he was the driver of the car and he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and taken to Bandon Garda Station.
The court was told that the vehicle the defendant was driving was defective as it had two worn tyres and was not properly maintained to be on the road.
Supt Ger Lacey told the court that the defendant was disqualified from driving at the time of the accident.
Solicitor Ray Hennessy said that when his client was brought back to Bandon Garda Station, he accepted he was driving the car.
‘Thomas got a call from his parents to collect them from Bandon on that night as they had been drinking.
‘He didn’t expect the call to collect them and he himself had been drinking,’ said Mr Hennessy.
Supt Ger Lacey said the scene of the accident looked like ‘pure carnage’ with the car upside down, but that luckily there were no serious injuries.
Judge McNulty said a fine wouldn’t be appropriate on this occasion as Mr Keenan was drunk while driving, but also was already disqualified from driving.
Judge McNulty sentenced him to 90 days in prison for having no insurance, which he said, was ‘a gross irresponsibility’ on the part of Mr Keenan and he was also disqualified from driving for five years.
Mr Keenan was also sentenced to a month in prison for driving a defective vehicle, both sentences to be served concurrently.
Judge McNulty said that if Mr Keenan thought the sentence was too harsh, then he had the option to appeal it and Ray Hennessy said his client would do so.
‘I won’t be suspending the sentence as there are too many serious aggravating factors and I’ll leave it to the Circuit Court to decide,’ said Judge McNulty.
Mr Keenan was remanded on continuing bail of his own bond of €400 with no surety required.