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Driver who crashed into electricity pole had been ‘smoking weed’

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Driver who crashed into electricity pole near Littleton had been ‘smoking weed’

Thurles District Court

A driver who collided with an electricity pole near Littleton was found guilty of dangerous driving at Thurles District Court.

Garda Padraig Walsh was on motorised patrol in Ballybeg, Littleton, Thurles, on May 2 last year, when he observed a silver Opal Astra “veer off the road and collide into an electricity pole”.

Sgt Thomas Hanrahan told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath that the driver, Thomas O’Donoghue, of Flat 4, 60 St Michael’s Street, Tipperary, had “sluggish” speech at the scene.

“He admitted he had been smoking weed on the day,” said Sgt Hanrahan.

Garda Walsh arrested Mr O’Donoghue and conveyed him to Thurles garda station.

A certificate of analysis showed the presence of benzodiazepine and cannabis in Mr O’Donoghue’s system.

Mr O’Donoghue was charged with dangerous driving contrary to section 53 of the road traffic act, driving while under the influence of an intoxicant, driving without a driving licence, having no insurance, and no NCT.

Mr O’Donoghue has 80 previous convictions, 34 relating to road traffic matters.

“It would appear there was dangerous driving while he was disqualified,” said Judge MacGrath.

Solicitor Patrick Kennedy said there is a custody issue going on “in the background” in relation to Mr O’Donoghue, who has attended psychiatric counselling.

Mr O’Donoghue is waiting to go into rehabilitation. Mr Kennedy requested the court adjourn the matter while these “huge background” issues are resolved.

“I will want that probation report to contain all that information,” said Judge MacGrath, who adjourned the case to January 28 next year for a pre-sentencing probation report.