Letterkenny man ‘very lucky’ to avoid prison on Judge’s first day in town

September 22, 2021

A LETTERKENNY man was told he was ‘very lucky’ to avoid a prison sentence after appearing in court on motoring offences.

Judge Raymond Finnegan told Kevin Devine (52) of Ballaghderg, Mountain Top, that he was fortunate to appear on the new Judge’s first day presiding at Letterkenny District Court.

Devine was before the court on charges of drink driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence at High Road, Letterkenny, on November 2, 2019.

The court heard that Devine had previously been a suspended sentence.

“The suspended sentence clearly didn’t work,” Judge Finnegan said.

Defence solicitor Patsy Gallagher said his client’s difficulties began from ‘a very difficult break-up’. Devine, he said, had a number of stints in residential programmes.

“His head wasn’t in the right place,” he said. “The mindset wasn’t there. He has a young family and has to work to support them. Since 2019, he has been on the straight and narrow. He has seen the light at the end of the tunnel and he is a man who is, hopefully, finished with court.”

Judge Finnegan handed Devine a five-month prison sentence, which he suspended for 18 months on the condition that the defendant does not drive any vehicle during that period.

Judge Finnegan disqualified Devine for five years on the drink driving charge.

On the charge of driving without insurance, Devine was fined €500 and also disqualified for five years.

“He is very lucky,” Judge Finnegan said.

Addressing Devine, Judge Finnegan added: “You’re lucky you’re here on my first day here. If this came to me in two or three months’ time, you’d be going to prison.”



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