Man who crashed car his lotto winning dad bought him is banned

Court hears how father of accused won €4m on national lottery

Liam Cosgrove


Liam Cosgrove


Longford Courthouse.

A Longford man who crashed a high powered car his father bought him after winning the lottery during a chase with gardaí has been banned from driving for four years.

A Longford man who crashed a high powered car his father bought him after winning the lottery during a chase with gardaí has been banned from driving for four years.

Anthony Barrett, 83 Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford was hit with the ban after taking off in his 171’ registered BMW at high speed following a row with his wife during the early hours of March 9 2020.

Sgt Paddy McGirl, for the State, said gardaí were called to reports of a car driving at excessive speed in the Ardnacassa Avenue area shortly after 5:20am.

When gardaí arrived at the estate they encountered a black BMW on the Ballinalee Road, he said.

Sgt McGirl added the driver failed to stop when gardaí activated blue lights on the pursuing patrol car as the motorist turned into the Ardnacassa estate.

He said at stages gardaí recorded the car travelling at speeds of between 90 and 100km/hr in the densely populated estate, crossing speed ramps in the process.

Sgt McGirl said the pursuit eventually came to a halt when Mr Barrett’s car collided with a grass verge and lamppost.

It was also revealed the accused failed to provide a breath specimen to gardaí following his arrest.

Mr Barrett, who stood patiently beside his solicitor Bríd Mimnagh throughout the hearing, told Judge Hughes he had been driving a 171 BMW One Series whom his father had paid €20,000 for after winning the national lottery.

When asked how much his father had won, the court was told €4m to which Judge Hughes replied glibly: “You got €20,000 off him very quick.”

Upon telling the court he was 20-years-old and married to a Longford woman, Judge Hughes noted: “Don’t they get married very young up around Longford.”

Now unemployed, Mr Barrett said he had previously worked part time as a panel beater.

Asked by Judge Hughes what he was driving currently following the damage caused to his previous car, Mr Barrett said “another One Series” which cost €6,000 and had been involved in a crash previously.

Judge Hughes also queried why Mr Barrett was also seeking free legal aid from the State after managing to snap up two BMWs within the space of a couple of months.

“I wasn’t told his father won the lotto,” remarked Judge Hughes, comments which prompted Ms Mimnagh to state: “Nor was I.”

In being pressed by Judge Hughes as to why he decided to take off in such fashion in his car during the early hours of the morning, Mr Barrett blamed the incident on domestic difficulties he was encountering at the time.

“I was going through a bad patch for a while,” he said.

“We (wife) were arguing and I ended up leaving.”

Ms Mimnagh said it was in fact Mr Barrett’s wife who notified gardaí Mr Barrett had left their home in a distressed state and at high speed.

Mr Barrett was also asked by Judge Hughes what his reaction was when he heard his father had won the lottery.

He recalled feeling “great” but rejected suggestions put to him by Judge Hughes that the celebrations that evening involved plenty of alcohol and the odd “bottle of Moet”.

Mr Barrett said he didn’t learn of his father’s win until 1am, stating it was too late to start into any celebrations.

“Sure, that’s early for you,” Judge Hughes replied, noting how Mr Barrett had been caught driving dangerously at 5am in the morning.

Judge Hughes signed off on the case by disqualifying Mr Barrett for four years on the failure to provide breath specimen charge along with a €250 fine.

A two year concurrent ban was also issued on the dangerous driving charge alongside a charge of €250.