A man summonsed for a number of minor road traffic offences, but claimed this was part of a Garda conspiracy, was disqualified for nine months, and fined a total of €1,350, as the judge voiced disappointment he couldn’t jail him on these offences.
Noel Davis (49 ) from Patch, Glenamaddy, Co Galway was in the District Court this week to plead not guilty to three charges which arose after his van was stopped at Creggan, Athlone on February 27.
However, at his previous appearance Davis claimed this was impossible as his van was in the garage on this date, and his case was put back to this week to allow him provide documentary proof of this.
At a special sitting on Monday (December 3 ), Davis presented a letter from his garage which claimed his van was off the road between January and October this year.
He then claimed that when he was stopped by Garda Declan Miley on that date, it couldn’t possibly have been him.
“So are you saying someone was using false plates?” asked Judge Seamus Hughes.
“I’m saying it’s a possibility,” said Davis.
“This man has very traditional views. He’s not happy he was pulled,” said the judge about Davis, who represented himself.
Garda Declan Miley gave evidence that when he stopped Davis he demanded his driving licence and took its serial number down in his notebook.
This matched exactly with the details of Davis’ licence acquired subsequently from Galway County Council.
Garda Miley then told the court that in the period of adjournment, he had encountered a colleague in Co Galway who had also stopped Davis during the time he claimed his vehicle was in the garage.
Dunmore-based Garda Cormac Bane confirmed that he also stopped Davis at Williamstown, Co Galway on March 21, that he didn’t know the defendant, but that: “I would’ve heard of him”.
He also confirmed and that Davis was subsequently convicted for this at Tuam District Court on October 23.
Davis admitted he drove the van on this date, but that this was the only time in the 10-month period he did so, as he had to get his kids to school.
“Ah, how could they make that mistake?” asked Judge Hughes.
Davis told the judge that he was “under constant harrassment” from gardaí as he is to give evidence in a case against the force, and that: “this [case] was just another piece in the jigsaw puzzle”.
“The Garda evidence to date has been consistent. You don’t have your garage man in court?” enquired the judge, and Davis said he didn’t.
“I have no doubt he was driving the vehicle on the day in question,” said the judge.
“But when you try to mislead this court, and these offences are relatively minor, you’ve misled this court in a very egregious way,” he said.
“And then you come with this whole business of harrassment? Your defence just smells to high heaven,” he fumed.
It was then revealed that Davis had four previous convictions for almost identical offences.
“I’ve no entitlement to send him to prison?” Judge Hughes enquired of Garda Miley, of whom he had earlier requested establish the maximum penalties on these charges.
“No, judge,” said the garda.
“You won’t normally get a disqualification [for these] in this court,” said the judge, before issuing the ban and fine.