herald

Sunday 20 January 2019

Banned driver used son (7) to give fake name

A FATHER-of-one who got his seven-year-old son to assist him in giving a false name to gardai when he was stopped for driving without insurance has been jailed for six months.

Dillon Finn (25) was already under a disqualification when gardai stopped him in west Dublin.

When the investigating garda asked who he was, he replied: "Paddy Short" and his son, who was in a child seat, told the officer the same thing.

Judge James McDonnell sentenced Finn after Tallaght District Court heard he had been banned from driving for 10 years just five days previously.

The accused, with an address at Donomore Green, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to uninsured and unlicensed driving at Boherboy Road, Saggart on October 12, 2010.

He denied he was ever stopped by the garda and maintained through his defence that there was a "nearly identical" man who might have used his identity.

Garda Alan Young told the court he was aware Finn had given him a false name because he had had previous dealings with the defendant.



Demand

The garda asked the defendant's son, who was in a child's seat in the back of the car, what his father's name was. The boy also replied "Paddy Short".

The garda made a demand of the defendant to produce his licence and proof of insurance at a garda station within 10 days and he failed to do so.

He was not arrested at the time due to the presence of his son.

Defence Solicitor Padraig O'Donovan put it to the garda that Finn had never driven the car in question and that he had "mixed him up with someone else".

Garda Young insisted he was sure the driver was the defendant.

Finn said in evidence: "Someone must have given (the garda) my identity". He said he had never met Garda Young before.

Judge James McDonnell said he was satisfied that the garda had identified the defendant.

The court heard Finn had 12 previous convictions and he had been convicted of uninsured driving and put off the road on October 7 last year.

Finn had one child with his girlfriend and another one on the way, Mr O'Donovan said. He was currently working in a warehouse.

Judge McDonnell fined the defendant €500, as well as sentencing him to six months in prison and banning him from driving for five years.

aphelan@herald.ie

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