Man on insurance charges told he is ‘at risk’

March 10, 2023

A District Court Judge in Donegal has warned a man who is before the court on two charges of driving without insurance that he is ‘at risk’.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham adjourned the case of Bartosz Cala until the end of the month to consider a penalty.

Cala, aged 38 and of Manorview Park in Letterkenny, pleaded guilty to two counts of driving without insurance.

On June 24, 2020, Gardai stopped Cala and demanded that he produce a certificate of insurance or exemption and he failed to do so.

On October 6, 2020, Gardai stopped Cala and made a similar demand. Again, he failed to produce documents to Gardai.

Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that Cala had been convicted a number of times for driving without insurance. A ten-year disqualification had also been handed down previously. Mr Dorrian said that this matter was under appeal.

Mr Frank Dorrian, solicitor for Cala, said his client had been in Ireland for several years with his wife and children.

“He didn’t understand the enormity of what he was doing,” Mr Dorrian said. “He is in a hopeless position.”

Mr Dorrian said Cala was ‘absolutely preoccupied by the prospect of going to prison’.

“He is hard working, diligent and is a good member of the community,” Mr Dorrian said.

The court heard that Cala has completed the Pro-Social driving course while a letter from his employer was handed in to the court.

Judge Cunningham said, given his history, the accused would benefit from a probation and welfare report.

“It seems to me that he is very much at risk,” Judge Cunningham said.

A probation officer informed the court that a report on Cala had been prepared. It was deemed that he was not in need of supervision and was suitable for community service.

The matter was adjourned to March 27 for sentencing.