A man has been jailed after he appeared at a recent sitting of Longford District Court charged with driving while disqualified, no insurance, and being abusive towards an arresting garda.
Marcin Rosada, 6 Oaklandsdale, Longford, was arrested by Gda Paul Stuart on April 22, 2020, at 4.15pm after he broke a red light on Main Street and was subsequently stopped on Great Water Street.
The court heard that Gda Stuart was on patrol at the time of the offence and had stopped at the traffic lights at the Main Street-Richmond Street junction, where he was three cars back from the traffic lights.
When the light turned green, cars began to move forward, the court heard, but a vehicle came at high speed from Richmond Street and turned left, going through the red light, and causing the vehicles on Main Street to swerve out of the way.
Gda Stuart made a quick pursuit of the vehicle and stopped Mr Rosada on Great Water Street. When questioned, Mr Rosada explained that he was rushing home.
On inspection of the vehicle, Gda Stuart discovered that Mr Rosada had a false, homemade insurance disc and, when he asked the accused to produce licence and insurance, Mr Rosada “jumped out of the vehicle and became abusive”.
Mr Rosada was shouting at Gda Stuart in Polish and Gda Stuart recognised some of the words to be derogatory comments.
He effected arrest on Mr Rosada, who continued to shout abuse. At Longford Garda Station, Mr Rosada again failed to produce his licence and insurance.
Sgt Paddy McGirl, for the state, confirmed that the accused has 16 previous convictions, including a number of convictions for no insurance, which saw him handed a number of disqualifications.
“He reacted in a completely improper and unlawful way in response to the garda,” said defending solicitor, Frank Gearty.
“This man has shown a total disregard for the law in this country,” said Judge Seamus Hughes.
“He drove while disqualified. He drove with no insurance. He had a totally reconstructed insurance disc, which he made himself. He was driving for the fifth time while disqualified.
“This is a prison sentence today because he added insult to injury by being abusive to the garda.”
Mr Gearty explained that it was “a very sad situation” as Mr Rosada’s partner, who is currently pregnant, had been keeping him “on the straight and narrow”.
“He’s never been in prison and perhaps seeing the inside of a prison will encourage him to change his ways,” said Mr Gearty.
Judge Hughes said that he has been reluctant to send anyone to prison during the Covid-19 pandemic but added that “the public are baying for people to serve their sentences”.
Taking into account the defendant’s guilty plea and Mr Gearty’s mitigation, Judge Hughes said he would hand down a “half sentence” of three months in prison. He also disqualified Mr Rosada from driving for five years and said that a drive aware course would be necessary should he wish to apply for early restoration of his licence.