A GP who crashed and rolled his car off the M6 motorway was banned from driving for four years this week (May 23 ) after he was convicted of refusing to provide a sample to gardaí.
Such was his condition at the scene on the evening of August 7, the court heard, that the first person to stop for Zahir Mohamed (48 ), of The Close, Lakepoint, Mullingar was another doctor who actually called the Gardaí rather than an ambulance and subsequently reported him to the Medical Council.
Garda Darren Murphy gave evidence of attending the accident at the off-ramp at Kilbeggan where he felt the “erratic behaviour” of the doctor, and a failed roadside test compelled him to arrest the defendant and bring him back to Athlone for an intoxiliser test.
Noting the defendant’s shortness of breath on the drive back, Garda Murphy told him he was calling a doctor to collect a blood or urine sample, both of which he refused to give.
Suggesting to defence solicitor, Padraig Quinn, that he felt his client was on a “fishing expedition”, Judge Seamus Hughes warned: “I will increase the period of disqualification if I believe this is a complete waste of time”.
Mr Quinn assured the court his client was persisting in pleading not guilty, and swearing in on the Koran, Mohamed told the judge that on the day in question he had been hypoglycaemic because he was observing his Ramadan fast, and on that day had not eaten since 3am.
He said the doctor who stopped had refused to treat his injuries, calling the Gardaí instead, and that the doctor in the Garda station had also refused to treat him.
“Nobody cared...I was treated badly and discriminated against,” said the qualified psychiatrist and GP who works as a locum around the Midlands.
“The doctor [in the Garda station] did not say hello to me. I told him I would never give anything,” he said.
However, Judge Hughes pointed out that Mohamed had been seen by two doctors that night, neither of whom felt he had to be hospitalised.
Also, the judge got the defendant to reveal he was regularly called into Garda stations to provide the very same service, and had even been doing this in Tullamore the night before his arrest.
It was also revealed Mohamed had answered “No” when asked by the member-in-charge at the Garda station whether he was injured or suffering from any medical condition, and that he had not reported his perceived “racial abuse” to him.
“Here’s my problem, Mr Quinn. When it comes to specifics, his answers are evasive. I simply don’t believe a word he says,” said the judge.
“As far as I’m concerned he was over the top on the night, and over the top in my court,” said the judge before banning Mohamed for the mandatory four years, and fining him €750.