Disqualified driver jailed for driving into mother and child on Tallaght bypass
By Fiachra Gallagher & Brion Hoban
A disqualified driver who drove into a car containing a mother and her five-year-old child has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Graham Campion (27) had already been disqualified from driving for 14 years when he drove into the woman's car and then failed to remain at the scene following the collision.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the woman and her child were travelling home from Tallaght Hospital when the impact of Campion’s car forced her car off the road.
Campion of Harmonstown Road, Artane, pleaded guilty to endangerment and damaging a car at the N81 Tallaght Bypass on April 16, 2017. He has 68 previous convictions, including convictions for dangerous driving, driving without a licence, no insurance and drugs offences.
Garda John Ryan told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that in the early hours of the morning on the date in question, the victim heard a “bang” while driving onto a roundabout, before realising that a silver BMW had collided with her vehicle.
Garda Ryan said the victim was concerned her car might flip due to the force of the impact, and that the incident felt like it “lasted forever”.
The woman and her son managed to climb out of the car after the collision. Shortly before blacking out, Garda Ryan said the woman saw a man leaving the scene of the incident.
Garda Ryan agreed with Michael Hourigan BL, defending, that a relative of his client died in an accident and this proceeded the beginning of significant abuse of alcohol and drugs by his client.
The garda agreed with counsel that his client has a history of working over the years. He agreed the accused is in a long-term relationship and has three children.
Mr Hourigan said his client was “apologetic and remorseful” for what was “undoubtedly” a terrifying experience for the victim.
Counsel said his client had suffered from addiction issues over the years and had been homeless living in the city centre prior to going into custody.
Judge Pauline Codd said that one of the most serious aggravating factors in the case was that Campion was disqualified from driving at the time of the incident.
The judge said the fact that he left the scene further aggravates the offence. She said the accused was “fortunate” that the victim and her son did not suffer more serious injuries.
Judge Codd sentenced Campion to four-and-a-half years imprisonment. She also ordered that he be disqualified from driving for 15 years.