herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Dad caught without insurance was homeless and living in car

Thomas Costello was given 200 hours of community service
Thomas Costello was given 200 hours of community service

A father caught driving without insurance on three occasions was homeless at the time and sleeping in his car and in hostels.

Thomas Costello (25) started dabbling in drugs again after he was made homeless. He asked the judge to "give him a chance" and not send him to jail.

Judge John Cheatle ordered Costello to complete 200 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison and banned him from driving for four years.

The defendant, of Pinewood Green Lawn, Balbriggan, admitted before Swords District Court to three counts of driv- ing without insurance or a licence.

The incidents took place on Pinewood Green Avenue, Balbriggan, on September 13, 2015; and on the R132 Balbriggan road on March 15 and Gulliver's Retail Park, Santry, on May 6, both this year.

Heroin

Costello also admitted possession of €20 worth of heroin after he was stopped by gardai on April 23 last year.

The court heard the def-endant had 49 previous convictions, including two for uninsured driving.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Costello got into a lot of trouble when he was a teenager, but had not been in bother in recent years.

She said Costello had a drug addiction in the past, but had managed to get it under control.

However, she said he was living in and out of hostels during the incidents before the court and this had caused him to go back on drugs.

The court heard that Costello, who is unemployed, has two young children.

Ms D'Arcy also said the def-endant planned to move to Carlow, as he wanted to move away from triggers and the negative peer groups he had been associating with.

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