AN UNINSURED driver who repeatedly flouted road traffic laws is a changed man since the birth of his granddaughter seven months ago, a court heard.
Robert Dawson (35) was now a full-time carer for his grandchild, his lawyer said, had detoxed from drugs and was focused on keeping his life on the straight and narrow.
Judge Gerard Jones said Dawson was a danger on the roads, adding that he had been disqualified from driving for 10 years and was still out and about in a car without a care.
Judge Jones imposed a six-month sentence and disqualified the defendant from driving for 15 years, adding that Dawson was getting off lightly with that sentence.
The defendant admitted possession of cannabis, worth €560, at his home at Deanstown Avenue in Finglas on December 7, 2018 as well as a number of counts of driving without insurance or a driving licence.
Sergeant Walter Sweeney told Blanchardstown District Court that Dawson, who is also known as Robert Whelan, was stopped driving at Dunsink Drive in Finglas on January 30, 2019 and he admitted he was a disqualified driver.
Dawson was stopped again by gardaí at Tolka Valley Road in Finglas on September 10, 2019, and he provided gardaí with a false name.
He later admitted to driving without tax or insurance.
The defendant was driving at speed in the Finglas area on September 1, 2019, and nearly hit a patrol car, Sgt Sweeney said.
Dawson was stopped for a fourth time by gardaí operating a checkpoint on Cappagh Road in Finglas on April 3, 2021 and he admitted he did not have a driving licence.
The court heard that Dawson had 58 previous convictions, including four previous for uninsured driving and he had spent time in prison in the past.
Defence solicitor Tertius Van Eeden asked the judge to mark guilty pleas and order a probation report, saying Dawson would benefit from them.
Mr Van Eeden said Dawson had four children and one granddaughter, and was a full-time carer for her. Her birth earlier this year had helped to focus his mind and he had “turned a corner” since then.
Mr Van Eeden added that Dawson realised he had a bad record but he was doing his best to get his life in order and was staying out of trouble.