16 Aug 2022

Drove dangerously at Farneyhoogan

Disqualified from driving for six years

A man who appeared before Longford District last week charged under the Road Traffic Act was sentenced to three months in prison and disqualified from driving for two years.

Tomasz Salamacha, Clonturk, Athlone Road, Stonepark, Longford appeared before Judge Fiona Lydon charged with driving without insurance at Farneyhoogan, Longford on July 24 last.

He was also further charged with dangerous driving on the same date.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Sergeant Gary Loughrey said that on the date in question at approximately 6pm gardaí in Longford town went to the scene of a “serious collision” in Farneyhoogan.

“The defendant drove his car into the back of another vehicle as he was attempting to pass out on a straight white line,” the Sergeant added, before pointing out that the car subsequently lost control, hit a wall and bounced back onto the road where it eventually came to a stop.

“Gardaí inspected the insurance disc at the scene and discovered it was a disc from another car; a lawful demand was made for production of insurance but the defendant failed to produce.”

Meanwhile, the court was told that the defendant - who was seriously injured in the accident - was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar.

The defendant’s solicitor, Frank Gearty, then admitted to the court that his client was speeding at the time of the accident.

In mitigation, Mr Gearty added, “There was a family turmoil at the time. Mr Salamacha had received a diagnosis of serious illness and then went out and drove in a reckless manner”.

The court went on to hear that the defendant had been living in Ireland for eight years and the incident that occured in July of last year was isolated and “completely out of character”.

“He is a 37-year-old father; he has one child here and has two older children in Dublin whom he sees sometimes,” added Mr Gearty.

“He knows that he will be disqualified from driving for a considerable amount of time and he is asking the court to run any sentence that might be imposed consecutive to the sentence he is already serving for assault.

“The car was purchased for €400 and he knows that he should not have driven it in the dangerous manner in which he did and he also knows that he should not have driven it without all the insurance matters being sorted out as well.”

The court was then told that Mr Salamacha’s landlord had taken issue with his incarceration and had tried to evict his partner and child from the house last week.

“The family don’t want to leave the house,” said Mr Gearty, before pointing to the fact that Longford Co Council had since become involved and was helping them to stay in their home.

Judge Lydon, meanwhile, sentenced Mr Salamacha to three months in prison to be served consecutively to the sentence he is already serving.

The defendant was also disqualified from driving for two years and fined €900 before the Judge brought the matters before her to a conclusion.

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