A disqualified driver who crashed a stolen car into a parked vehicle after taking a cocktail of alcohol and tablets has been given a two-year suspended sentence.
Martin Kavanagh (aged 20) of Shangan Green, Ballymun, called to the house of the owner of the parked car that evening and told her he had been there when it was damaged but denied any responsibility.
He called to the house again the next day along with his father and admitted that he had been driving the car that had crashed into her vehicle and said he would cover the cost of the damages.
Kavanagh pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful use of a stolen car on November 11, 2007.
Judge Katherine Delahunt said at the last sentence hearing that she had been impressed with the way Kavanagh had dealt with the matter and congratulated his parents on encouraging him to take responsibility for his actions.
She noted that Kavanagh continued to make progress having read a probation report before she suspended the entire sentence on condition that he attend for drug treatment and liaise with the probation service.
Garda Andrew Lambe told Mr John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that an estimated €5,700 worth of damages had been caused to the car. He said he was not able to verify how much money Kavanagh has since paid to the owner.
Kavanagh was arrested and admitted that he had found the car after returning from the pub. He said the keys were in the vehicle and he drove off in it but lost control of the car after going over a ramp, hit a post and then the parked car.
Kavanagh told gardaí that he knew the car had been stolen and that he had been disqualified from driving at the time. He said that the owner of the car had already been paid half of the estimated damages.
Gda Lambe agreed with Mr Cormac Quinn BL, defending, that his client's 48 previous convictions were linked to his drinking problem.