Judge Seamus Hughes
A man banned from driving for 20 years and who was found behind the wheel of a car in Longford earlier this year, has been jailed for four months by Judge Seamus Hughes.
Darius Saraapajevas, St Martha’s Hostel, Knockahaw, Dublin Road, Longford was stopped by gardaí at Richmond Street, Longford on January 14 2018. He was later charged with a string of road traffic offences, including failing to produce a driving licence, having no insurance and being at the wheel while under the influence of an intoxicant.
It emerged during the case that Mr Saraapajevas had 62 previous convictions, six of which were for no insurance and three for dangerous driving. It was also explained how the defendant had been banned from driving in 2011 for 20 years and sentenced to four months in prison.
In defence, solicitor Frank Gearty said his client had previously come to the court’s attention relating to the theft of hot water cylinders from private residences but was somewhat swayed by other individuals. At that stage, Sgt Paddy McGirl said Mr Saraapajevas had only appeared before Judge Hughes on February 18 for no insurance, resulting in a 10 year disqualification being issued.
“Heroin is the problem,” interjected Mr Gearty.
“At the time he had been under the influence of drugs and was not in control of his faculties or decision making process.”
Pressed as to where he had managed to get a car, the court was told it had come from 'friends' of Mr Saraapajevas.
In reference to his client’s previous spell behind bars, Mr Gearty said it had proved somewhat beneficial in bringing home the seriousness of his issues.
Judge Hughes described the offences before him as “beyond a joke”, adding that today was the “day of reckoning”. In taking account of Mr Saraapajevas’ guilty plea for the drug driving charge Judge Hughes said the four month sentence he was issuing was two thirds below the 12 month term he would have otherwise have imposed.