suspended sentence | 

Neighbours took car keys from drunk driver who crashed into three parked cars to protect property

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A DRIVER who drunkenly crashed into three parked vehicles, causing thousands of euro worth of damage, had the keys taken away from her by neighbours in an effort to protect their property, a court has heard.

Aishling Murphy (27) had just lost her mother, and was suffering greatly with anxiety and depression at the time.

Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a three-month sentence, which he suspended for two years. The judge also fined Murphy €500 and disqualified her from driving for two years.

The defendant, of St Paul’s Court, Ayrfield, Dublin 13, admitted drunken driving, as well as driving without insurance or a driving licence at Greenwood Way in Coolock on December 11, 2021.

She further admitted a number of hit-and-run offences, including failing to stop.

Garda Ciaran McGroder told Swords District Court that he was called at around 2.30am to the scene of a multi-vehicle collision. Gda McGroder said residents heard a loud noise, and saw a Volkswagen Polo crash into a number of parked cars.

The garda said three vehicles were damaged in the collision, with an estimated €3,000 worth of damage caused to each car.

Gda McGroder said neighbours took the keys from the car in an effort to protect property.

The court heard that the defendant was taken to a garda station, where she provided a specimen of her blood to gardaí. It gave a reading of 168mgs of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

The court heard that Murphy had no previous convictions.

Defence lawyer Deirdre Flannery said Murphy had never come to garda attention before this incident, and the event had had a lasting impact on her.

Murphy was “going through a crisis” at the time, Ms Flannery said, adding that Murphy had been living with her mother, who had just passed away.

The defendant suffered greatly with her mental health at the time of her mother’s death. She had been treated for anxiety and depression, which was quite severe at the time, Ms Flannery said.

Murphy was on disability allowance and was not a person of means, the court heard.

The cost of the damage had been covered by Murphy’s partner’s insurance, the lawyer said.

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