Driver 'off his head' on cannabis lucky not to hit kids in Dublin


A DRUGGED-out passenger who took over at the wheel after the driver crashed a van was lucky not to hit a group of young children who were playing nearby, a court heard.

Martin O’Brien (34) was “off his head” on cannabis, according to an eye-witness who followed the vehicle.

He tried to park the vehicle in a cul-de-sac after the original driver allegedly mounted a footpath in a housing estate.

Judge Anne Watkin adjourned sentencing for 10 days to allow O’Brien, who was recently released from prison, to spend time with his family.

However, Judge Watkin said she proposed disqualifying O’Brien for 15 years and imposing a one-month sentence.

The defendant, of Cushlawn in Ballybrack, admitted to drug driving at Abbey Court in Dun Laoghaire on July 1, 2014.

Dun Laoghaire District Court heard O’Brien was a passenger in a van which allegedly mounted a footpath.

The driver got out and O’Brien drove the vehicle around the corner.

The court heard there were children playing in the estate at the time and O’Brien was “off his head” on cannabis.

Defence lawyer Kim Moloney said O’Brien thought he was doing the right thing by parking up the car.

Ms Moloney said the defendant is married with six children, one of whom is autistic, and only got out of prison last week.

She said O’Brien had a heroin problem but has been clean for eight months.

Ms Moloney said the defendant’s brother-in-law gave him the van because he owed him money, and he intended to sell the vehicle.

Adjourning sentencing to next week, Judge Watkin told O’Brien she was “trusting him to come back to court”.