Nine months in prison for man with numerous previous convictions

A Ballinlough man with 21 pervious convictions was sentenced to a total of nine months in prison after he pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and the unauthorised taking of a vehicle.

The three charges came about after two separate incidents on the same day. The court was told that at 5.10pm on September 14 2011, gardaí were carrying out a check on Clogher Lower, Cloonfad, when a car stopped 450m short of the checkpoint and turned around and drove off. Gardaí followed the car down a side road and stopped it a distance down the road. The driver of the car was Elfyn Duff of Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, who was known to the gardaí. He told the gardaí at the scene that he was driving while disqualified and that he had no insurance or licence.

Later that evening in Swinford the theft of a car from the front of a house was reported to gardaí. The car which had been parked in the driveway of the house had the keys left in it at the time. The next day the car was found in Ballinlough and following an investigation by gardaí, Elfyn Duff was arrested and admitted to taking the car.

Solicitor for Duff, Evan O’Dwyer told the court that his client was actually in court in Galway this week for a similar offence, but that had to be dealt with yet. He also told the court that his client was a 30 year old man who had five children and his current girlfriend was also expecting another child in the near future. He also told the court that his client had a number of previous convictions for similar type incidents and each time he had always put his hands up and pleaded guilty. Judge Devins asked would his client benefit from psychiatric evaluation and Mr O’Dwyer agreed that it may not be a bad idea.

Judge Devins convicted and fined Duff €750 for driving while disqualified and banned him from driving for 10 years and also ordered that he not get his licence back until he had passed the driving test again. She also sentenced him to three months in prison. For driving without insurance, she convicted and fined him €750, disqualified him from driving for 10 years concurrent and sentenced him to three months in prison consecutive. For the unauthorised taking of a vehicle she convicted and sentenced him to three months in prison consecutive and directed he be given a psychiatric assessment and any medical follow up that may be necessary.

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