herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Driver was caught out using twin brother's details

A driver pretended to be his twin brother when gardai caught him on the roadafter he was disqualified.

Damien Tobin (39) was spotted by gardai with an unrestrained child in the back of a car he had picked up as a favour to a former boss.

Tobin, of Elmfield Park, Clarehall, Dublin 17, was given a two-month suspended sentence after he admitted uninsured and unlicensed driving, and giving a false name.

Dublin District Court heard gardai stopped Tobin driving at Belcamp Lane at 3.15pm on August 3 because they saw an unrestrained child in the car. He gave his name as Dominic Tobin and his correct date of birth but when gardai made enquiries, they found out that the name he gave was his twin brother's.

He was taken to Malahide Garda Station and charged with giving a false name. When asked why he had given a false name, he said he had no licence but his brother was on the road.

The defendant had six previous convictions for offences including drunk and uninsured driving. He had been banned from driving for six years the previous March.



foolish

Once the gardai found out who he was, he was co-operative and caused "no further difficulties", his barrister said.

Tobin was a roofer by profession but was out of work after being given the driving ban. On the day of the offence, he was contacted by his former employer and asked to collect a vehicle. He picked up a friend and the child was in his friend's arms. He was not aware that the child was not restrained.

Tobin was asked to pick up and move the vehicle and "he stupidly did so", his barrister said. "He took a foolish chance. He believed the vehicle was insured but obviously that didn't apply to him."

Tobin was living with his partner and child and was on social welfare. The driving ban happened at a time when he "turned to drink" following a family bereavement. Otherwise he had "no underlying difficulty with drink or drugs".

"He is not a man who is taking this lightly, he is aware he shouldn't have been driving at the time," his barrister said, adding that the accused was prepared to carry out community service.

Judge Catherine Staines said it was a "serious matter".

aphelan@herald.ie

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