'˜You will do well to avoid jail' - Judge

A father of seven who is accused of motoring offences has been told he will '˜do well to avoid jail'.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 26th August 2016, 2:11 pm
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

Gary Dobbins, of St Eithne’s Park, is charged with having no licence or insurance on August 22.

He is further charged with driving offences from February including driving whilst disqualified and dangerous driving.

An Arrest Warrant was issued for the 25-year-old’s arrest in relation to these charges after he failed to appear in court in June.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrate’s Court he believed he could connect the defendant to all the charges.

Bail was opposed because police believe no conditions would stop the defendant driving a car.

The officer said Dobbins has 21 previous road traffic offences and is in breach of a suspended sentence imposed in 2014.

He added that Dobbins’ partner has a car and she has been reported to the Public Prosecution Service for allowing him to drive it.

The officer also revealed that in relation to the alleged offences in February, Dobbins is accused of dangerous driving while four of his children were present in the car.

Defence solicitor, Keith Kyle, said his client did not attend court in June because he took his family away to Donegal for a couple of days.

He added that Dobbins ‘realises that he could have surrendered himself to do something about this but he didn’t’.

Mr. Kyle said the 25-year-old has remained in the city and has ‘no intention of going anywhere because of his responsibilities at home’.

He told the court the police concerns ‘could be reflected’ in stringent bail conditions.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he had read the allegations in respect of the offences in February and is it clear ‘this man should not be driving’.

‘He has no consideration for the court process, did not turn up in June and hasn’t bothered since’.

The judge added that if convicted of the offences Dobbins ‘would do well to avoid prison’.

He released the defendant on his own bail of £750 with a number of conditions.

These include a ban on travelling in a private motor vehicle.

Judge McElholm warned Dobbins ‘if there is a single breach you will be remanded in custody until these matters are dealt with’.

Dobbins will appear in court again on September 8.