This week news broke that a driver who killed cyclist Shane O’Farrell walked away from court and will not serve jail time as long as he leaves the country (see news report links below).
Shane was killed when he was knocked down while out for a spin between Carrickmacross and Castleblaney in Co Monaghan on August 2, 2011.
The judge in the case directed the jury to find Zigimantas Gridzuiska (39) — of Adross Avenue, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan — not guilty of dangerous driving due to lack of evidence.
But, according to the Irish Independent, he pleaded guilty to failing to stop his car at the scene of the accident, failing to keep the car near the scene of this accident, failing to report this accident as soon as possible to gardai, and driving a vehicle in a dangerously defective condition. He has 42 previous convictions, including 9 for motoring offences.
The Lithuanian driver who killed O’Farrell was given the choice of eight months in prison or to leave the country within 21 days. He was also banned from driving for 10 years, according to The Irish Times, as “additional incentive to move on”.
Here’s a podcast of Shane O’Farrell’s mother speaking to Today FM’s Last Word about the low prison sentences for hit and run cases, and on how leaving the scene of an crash allows drivers on drugs or drink to avoid detection:
MORE: Hit-and-run driver avoids jail term over death of cyclist (Independent.ie)
MORE: ‘You murdered my son, how dare you. There is no justice’ (Irish Times)
MORE: Suspended prison term for driver who killed cyclist
MORE: Death of cyclist was ‘a tragic accident’