Hit-and-run driver took drugs and drank 15 pints

A van driver smoked cannabis, snorted cocaine, and drank at least 15 pints of beer, before knocking down and killing a young Frenchman in Cork city and then going on the run.

Hit-and-run driver took drugs and drank 15 pints

The fatal incident occurred four years ago this weekend. It was not until last July that detectives got an anonymous tip-off that the accused was working on a building site in London.

The family of the French man who lost his life in Cork because of the dangerous driving of Martin Linehan, aged 36, visited the city yesterday to hear the Coachford father of three plead guilty to multiple counts, principally one of dangerous driving causing the death of their loved one.

One of the most aggravating counts among the other charges was one of failing to remain at the scene.

Jailing him for eight years, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “After, in what is a seriously aggravating factor, he did not stop. The vehicle front and back-rolled over the deceased. The person in the passenger seat asked him to stop. He certainly did not stop. His behaviour then and after is entirely the behaviour of a person who had only one consideration — himself.

“He drove to his former place of work, changed cars, went to Coachford for more drink and to play pool. Where in that scenario can I find remorse? I cannot… The manner in which he left the scene is chilling to the point of frightening, that he could have so much disregard for another human being.”

Gabriel Lege’s mother, Sylvie, said: “How to describe for you the dreaded moment when I am going to see my son Gabriel in a funeral home in Cork. He is there all alone laid out in a coffin.”

Gardaí said that Martin Linehan never showed any remorse for his actions.

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