Case in Longford adjourned to determine suitability for community service

Defendant is anxious to work and look after his family

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A man who appeared before Longford Circuit Court last week after he was convicted under the Road Traffic Act in the district court had his case adjourned until May so that the court could determine if he is a suitable candidate for community service.

Dean Devine, 1 New Houses, Daingean, Co Offaly appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson convicted of driving without insurance and a driving licence following a hearing into the matter at Longford District Court on December 6, 2016.

The defendant was sentenced to four months in jail at the time, however he appealed the severity of the sentence at last week’s circuit court sitting.

In the district court, the defendant was subsequently disqualified from driving for 40 years and sentenced to four months in prison following the hearing into the matter.

Last week’s court sitting heard that the defendant had also been convicted of dangerous driving in 2014 and had been disqualified from driving for 40 years that year.

The court was told there were also a number of previous convictions under the Road Traffic Act in place.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Trish Cronin said that her client was appealing the sentence imposed, only.

She added, “He has already been disqualified from driving for 40 years - so that is academic”.

The local solicitor went on to say that on the date in question, her client had been contacted by his mother who lived in Mullingar.

“His mother had moved to Mullingar and she had no friends or help, so she asked her son, Dean, to drive her somewhere,” said Ms Cronin.

“He got into the car and drove to Mullingar only to assist his mother.”

The court was then told that the defendant had a partner and two children and had left school when he was just 15-years-old.

Ms Cronin continued; “He did a FAS course but is currently unemployed”.

She went on to say that the defendant had suffered with schizophrenia in the past and wanted to get some money together so that he could open up his own business.

“He tells me that he is anxious to work and look after his family,” the solicitor told the Judge.

During his deliberations on the matter Judge Johnson said that he would adjourn proceedings to allow for a probation report in the matter.

“I want to see whether or not he is suitable for community service,” the Judge added, before indicating that if it was determined that Ms Cronin’s client was suitable, then he would impose 240 hours in lieu of the four month prison sentence.

The matter was subsequently adjourned until next week.