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Careless driver who caused €13k worth of damage avoids disqualification

Swords District Court

Eimear Cotter

A CARELESS driver who ploughed through a garden hedge before panicking and trying to leave though a set of electric gates has avoided a disqualification.

Thomas Kelly (32) broke his arm in the crash and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Kelly, of The Poplars in Monkstown, admitted careless driving and criminal damage at Deanstown, Balheary in Swords on August 19, 2020.

Swords District Court heard Kelly caused over €13,000 worth of damage when he drove through a hedge, over a flower bed and back out through a set of electric gates.

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined Kelly €750 but did not ban him from driving, after he heard the defendant needed his licence for his work.

Kelly also paid €5,000 in compensation to the victims after the court heard they received €9,000 from the insurance company but the damage was over €13,000.

The court heard he ploughed through the hedge and his car became wedged by a wall.

He drove through the grass and a flower bed before driving out through the electric gates, destroying the motor on the gates.

Defence lawyer David Staunton said Kelly was fully insured at the time, had been tested and did not have alcohol in his system.

Kelly was a family man with a mortgage who worked as a security consultant, he added.

Mr Staunton asked the judge not to disqualify Kelly as a driving ban would affect his ability to work.

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