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Car damaged during ‘test drive’

A MAN who caused €2,361 damage to a vehicle he took on a “test drive” while drunk has to pay €25 a week in compensation going forward or he will face a prison sentence.
Martin Daly of 6 The Mews, Kilrush Road, Ennis, took a 11 CE Peugeot 207 from the forecourt of O’Sullivan and Hansbury Motors in Ennis on February 10 last after seeing the keys in the ignition.

Mr Daly took the vehicle to Kilmaley and Inch and had at least one crash during his spin, causing the damage.
When gardaí apprehended the defendant at Dromeen East, just outside Ennis, he had a bottle of vodka in the passenger seat, which he drank in front of them.

There was damage to one of the car’s alloys, there was a hole in a tyre, part of the bumper was missing, while the right wishbone and right shock were both bent.

The defendant was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and a reading was recorded of 255 millilitres in blood, which was in excess of the permitted level.

In court in May, solicitor Tara Godfrey said, “Mr Daly wasn’t necessarily stealing a car from O’Sullivan and Hansbury – he was taking it for a test drive for a relation who was interested in the car”.

On Wednesday there was a proposal that the defendant, who is receiving €188 per week in social welfare, start paying compensation at a rate of €25 per week.

Judge Patrick Durcan said this was preferable to him going to prison at a cost of €69,000 per annum to the taxpayer.

Judge Durcan said he would adjourn the matter for six months, until November 25. He ordered that €25 be paid each week and that the overall amount would be held until the November date.

He warned that if Mr Daly defaults, he will face a prison sentence.

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