Man’s ‘homicidal’ drinking criticised

A man’s moment of madness after a “homicidal” level of drinking saw him slide across into the driver’s seat of a taxi and drive off through the streets of Cork.

Inspector Ronan Kennelly said yesterday at Cork District Court, the taxi driver had taken Stephen Power, aged 27, of 137 Sunday’s Well Road, Cork, on as a customer and stepped out of the car to tend to an open window.

The inspector said Power drove away from the taxi rank on St Patrick St and mounted the footpath a number of times as he drove towards Washington St before crashing into a traffic light on Mardyke St.

“You are a disgrace,” Judge Marie Keane said to Power yesterday.

“It is a truly appalling case. The level of alcohol can best be described as homicidal. It is nothing short of a miracle that someone was not injured or killed in the course of this escapade.”

Insp Kennelly said after Power crashed the car, he got out and gardaí found him lying face down on the ground. They questioned him at the Bridewell Garda Station but he had no memory of what he had done.

The level of alcohol was later measured at 199 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of blood.

“He was shocked and horrified at what he had done. He no recollection whatsoever. The only description he can give is that it was a momentary act of madness,” defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said.

The accused paid €3,000 in cash to the taxi driver to compensate him for the damage caused to the car.

Noting a previous conviction for driving without insurance, the judge imposed total fines of over €1,000 and banned Power from driving for four years.


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