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29 Sept 2022

Judge tells man he'd have gone to jail only for his young family

The man was handed a five-month suspended sentence and disqualified from driving for six years when he appeared at Letterkenny District Court

Judge Alan Mitchell

Letterkenny courthouse and (inset) Judge Alan Mitchell

A Judge told a 28-year-old man that his young family was the only reason he was not going to prison.

Judge Alan Mitchell handed Grigore Adamache a five-month suspended sentence and disqualified him from driving for six years.

Father-of-one Adamache, of Stralongford, Drumkeen, was before Letterkenny District Court on a number of charges including two of theft, three of drink-driving and driving without insurance.

“The only reason you are not going to prison is because of your family,” Judge Mitchell told Adamache. “Look at you child. You should feel very lucky; they kept you out of prison.”

Adamache was before the court charged with the theft of a wallet from Voodoo nightclub on June 5, 2016. A man was observed putting a wallet on a window ledge and Adamache made admissions about taking the wallet, which was subsequently recovered.

The accused was charged with driving without insurance on July 16, 2017.

Adamache faced a charge of drink-diving arising out of an incident on June 22, 2018 at Drumkeen. Gardaí detected a car driving with no tax. Gardaí stopped the vehicle and found a smell of intoxicating liquor from the vehicle. A breath test revealed that Adamache had 46mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

At 7.42pm on January 5, 2020, at Trentabuoy, Durmkeen, Gardai stopped a vehicle which was swaying from side-to-side. Adamache was found to have 105mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

On February 20, 2020 at 9.35am, Adamache left Pennys at Letterkenny Shopping Centre without paying for €17 worth of jewellery. He was charged with theft. All items were returned and in a sellable condition.

Adamache was charged with driving without insurance on June 7, 2020.

On September 10, 2021, Adamache was stopped at a checkpoint at Oldtown, Letterkenny. Arising out of the stop, Adamache was charged with driving without insurance and drink-driving, having returned a reading of 40mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Adamache also appeared on two charges of failing to appear in court.

“Has he ever been to Castlerea?” Judge Mitchell asked.

Solicitor for Adamache, Mr Patsy Gallagher said his client was a young man who has had substantial difficulty with alcohol.

“He had found himself alone in this jurisdiction since coming here from Romania, but his life is now here,” Mr Gallagher said.

Mr Gallagher told the court that Adamache now has a partner here and is the father of one child.

“He accepts that his liberty is at stage,” Mr Gallagher said. “The court has a number of avenues to deal with him to the benefit of society.

“He can work, will work and has work. He is working part-time and is supporting his partner and child. His family is totally dependent on him.”

Mr Gallagher said there was ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for his client.

“Sometimes the light portrays a train going in the opposite direction,” Judge Mitchell said.

For the most recent incident of drink driving and driving without insurance in September 2021, Adamache was sentenced to five months in prison. Judge Alan Mitchell suspended the entire term for two years in Adamache’s own bond of €100. Adamache was put off the road for six years.

“He is potentially at a high risk of reoffending,” said Judge Mitchell, who marked the other offences as taken into consideration, convicting Adamache on each.

“This will be a test and the only thing in his favour is that there are gaps. I am not a fan of jumbo sheets and this is the category of jumbo sheets.”

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