Ban driver saved from jail by garda, says judge
A DRIVER who sped away from gardai, drove through a junction and crashed has been put off the road for 30 years.
Dean Ledwidge (26) ran from the vehicle but was caught a short distance away.
A garda witness told the court Ledwidge has not been in trouble for nearly two years and he believes he is a "reformed character".
Judge John Coughlan fined him €500 and disqualified him from driving for 30 years.
The judge told Ledwidge the garda's evidence had saved him from going to jail.
"The sole reason you are not going to prison today is due to the garda's evidence," he said.
The defendant, of Ratoath Drive, Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to driving without insurance or a driving licence on April 2 last year.
He also admitted to having false registration plates at the same time and place.
Gda Conor O'Sullivan said gardai were on patrol around 3pm when a vehicle drove erratically towards them on Cardiffsbridge Road in Finglas.
Gda O'Sullvian said the vehicle took off at speed across a junction where it crashed.
He said the car had false 1996 Dublin plates and had been stolen in February 2012.
The court heard that Ledwidge has 66 previous convictions, including eight for driving without insurance.
He received a 20-year driving ban in November 2012.
Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said Ledwidge has finally realised he was taking the wrong path in life.
He is now back in education and hopes to go to college in September.