A 20-year old man from Cork who was convicted of driving with excess alcohol in Schull, said he will appeal the conviction.
Sandu Maico of 1, Ashwood, South Douglas Road in Cork, admitted driving with excess alcohol at Pier Road in Schull on August 24th 2014, but had numerous complaints about the way in which the case was handled.
After a lengthy hearing, Judge James McNulty fined the accused €100 with €250 expenses and disqualified him from driving for one year – a period of disqualification that comes into effect on January 6th 2017. Appearing in his own defence, Sandu Maico opened his case saying: ‘My parents had so much trust in me before this.’
He explained that he had no intention of driving that night – the night of a friend’s party in Schull – and indeed had sought permission to park his car in the driveway with the intention of sleeping there overnight before driving home the following day.
However, when the party got a bit out of hand, his friend’s father cleared everybody out and also asked Sandu to remove his car from the driveway. It was in moving it to another place that he was seen, stopped and arrested by the gardai.
The accused objected to the manner in which he was arrested and complained about the way he was spoken to, and the fact that the garda – who drove him from Bantry back to his car in Schull because it was late and raining – would not give him back the key.
A situation that Judge James McNulty explained to him, saying: ‘It seems to me that they were doing you a favour.’
He questioned why it took so long to prosecute his case, but the explanation that he was out of the jurisdiction for a time, and that his mother had declined to accept service of the documents, as definitive.
Ultimately, Judge McNulty told the accused: ‘If you are dissatisfied with the way you were treated, you can make a complaint.’
The judge also told the accused that he was declining to continue in ‘a question and answer session with you and the impression I get from you is that everyone has done you wrong.
‘It is unfortunate what happened at the party but by your own admission you drove with excess alcohol,’ and the police’s account of what happened ‘might be different to yours’ said the judge in reference to the fact that the gardai were not present in court because the case was being dealt with by way of a plea.
In conclusion, the judge said: ‘If you want legal opinion, ask a lawyer. Lawyers give advice.’