“I see very little merit in the appeal. The only area in which I see any scope for leniency is making all the sentences concurrent and he should consider himself very lucky to have his sentence reduced from 10 months to five months,” said Judge John Aylmer upon finalising matters in a district court appeal hearing brought by Oisin McCann at last week’s sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court.
When matters appeared before the district court Mr McCann, Mullen, Frenchpark, Co Roscommon was convicted of having no insurance on August 1, 2018 at SuperValu car park, Elphin St, Boyle and was sentenced to five months in prison and disqualified from driving for 10 years.
Mr McCann was also convicted of having no insurance and dangerous driving on November 19, 2018 at The Crescent, Boyle. In relation to these offences he was sentenced to two five month sentences to run consecutively and was disqualified from driving for 10 years on the dangerous driving charge.
Last week’s appeal heard on August 1 last the defendant was observed and after speaking to gardaí, gave his name as Paul Smith. Subsequent inquiries revealed his correct identity and he failed to produce his documents.
On November 19 last, Garda McTiernan was on mobile patrol at Quarry Lane, Boyle when he observed Mr McCann driving while wearing a black hoodie, with the hood up. Garda McTiernan recognised Mr McCann and activated the blue lights and siren on the patrol car.
The defendant sped up, narrowly missing parked cars and failed to stop at a stop sign. He repeated a loop through the main commercial area of the town and through a housing estate.
Outside of the town Mr McCann narrowly missed a head on collision with an oncoming patrol car.
The car was subsequently abandoned with the defendant later found and arrested and the vehicle was seized. Evidence was given that the pursuit lasted for an hour.
State solicitor for Roscommon, Kieran Madigan said three of the five dangerous driving charges against Mr McCann had been withdrawn.
Defending solicitor Martin Burke said the defendant, who has previous convictions for no insurance and dangerous driving: “Is a young man who has an appalling record. He was living at home with his father doing up cars and selling them on.
“He simply didn’t want insurance or go to the bother of getting insurance it would seem.”
Mr Burke added: “He is very lucky nobody was hurt or killed as a result of his actions. He comes here begging for mercy. I am asking you to show some mercy to him. He appreciates he has tested the patience of several courts.”
Giving his verdict Judge Aylmer said: “Mr McCann has been given many warnings and shown leniency in the past. He’s had suspended sentences, community service and yet he proceeds to drive without insurance and on the second occasion he compounds matters.”
Judge Aylmer ruled as outlined, making the sentences previously imposed concurrent rather than consecutive meaning his jail sentence is reduced from 10 months to five months.