A circuit court judge told an American defendant, ‘If you weren’t an American you would be going to jail’ a Trim court last week

The man whose momentary loss of concentration caused a head-on crash on the Navan/Kentstown road which left a motor cyclist with life changing injuries, has been fined €50 at Trim Circuit Court.

Michael Hill (65) who had an address at Merrion Strand, Sandymount, Dublin at the time pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury on February 27th 2019 at Casey’s Cross, Kentstown.

The court heard the motorcyclist was thrown for fifty metres after his bike collided with the defendant’s car which had come out from the cross on the wrong side of the road.

Judge Terence O Sullivan was told the 35 year old victim had previously been very active and independent but now could only walk short distances with a crutch and suffers chronic pain on a daily basis.

The injured mans wife, said the couple could not change what had happened and knew he had not meant to cause the crash.

A defence barrister said his client who worked as a lobbyist reporting to the U.S conference of Catholic bishops on the plight of refugees around the world was in straitened financial circumstances as he had to care for his ageing parents and his wife who was in ailing health as well as an adult autistic son.

He added that the defendant had €10,000 –  which had been difficult to come by, as a token of his remorse for the victim.

Judge O’Sullivan described it a very serious accident with very serious injuries that appeared to have been caused by a momentary lapse of concentration by someone not used to driving on the left hand side of the road.

He observed that the victim and his wife were prepared to forgive the defendant.

Taking account of the defendant’s need to travel for his work the judge imposed a fine rather than a sentence.

Judge O’Sullivan said the €50 fine was not his view of the seriousness of the case adding that if the defendant was not American he would probably be going to jail.