A man drove through a wall injuring two people after seeing sexually suggestive texts on his wife’s phone.
Gavin Heaphy of Woodview Drive, Mallow, Co Cork, was jailed for a total of two years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on charges of dangerous driving causing serious harm to a man and a woman.
The court heard Heaphy jumped into his jeep after discovering the racy messages to go to the home of the man he believed sent them.
When he got there, on the morning of May 27, 2018, the man wasn’t there so he parked and waited.
When he did see the man Heaphy drove at speed down the road with the intention of confronting him.
“He was unable to stop and he drove through a wall of a house,” Garda PJ Roche told the court.
The wall crashed down on the man who was hospitalised after a piece of steel from the wall pierced his anus. The woman he was with suffered an injury to her wrist.
Both injured parties were given the opportunity to prepare victim impact statements for Heaphy’s sentencing hearing but declined.
Garda PJ Roche who investigated the case said: “Gavin Heaphy drove at speed. He was unable to stop and drove through a boundary wall. A piece of steel from the wall pierced his [the injured man’s] anus, requiring him to be hospitalised.
“He [was] required to have surgery. He released himself five days later."
Heaphy also pleaded guilty to the charge of endangerment arising out of the same set of circumstances.
Garda Roche said there was no evidence that the defendant had been drinking.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “All of this happened as a reaction to text messages. It is disproportionate, violent and inappropriate response.”
The judge said the best way to deal with unwanted text messages was by deleting them.
However, he said the aggravating aspect of this case was that Heaphy deliberately went looking for the man who sent them.
“And he deliberately or recklessly lost control of the vehicle and it collided with the person and the wall,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
He said he had to impose a prison sentence.
“He is off the road, he gets into a car and drives it through a wall and he is sober.
“There has to be a prison sentence. I cannot operate where they drive while disqualified.”
Niamh Stewart BL said the father of four had psychiatric issues and moved to Mallow for a clean start.
“He is undergoing counselling at the moment. He suffers from depression and anxiety. He has behaved himself since this occurred. He was very remorseful from the start.”
The judge said it was commendable that the defendant had manfully taken himself out of a difficult situation in Cork City and gone about making a better life for himself and his family in Mallow. However, the judge said there was inexcusable, criminal use of a car in the circumstances.