A Dungannon man who was repeatedly reprimanded by the courts for driving while disqualified has been given an 18 month prison sentence.
Svajunas Raudonaitis, 30, of Lisnahull Gardens, Dungannon was charged with driving while disqualified, using a motor vehicle without insurance and failing to provide a specimen while driving unfit.
A court was told that around 2.30am on February 7 this year, police were on mobile patrol in Dungannon when they noticed the defendant driving on the Gortmerron Link Road.
Police stopped the vehicle and spoke to the defendant and they detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor. A roadside breath test was conducted which the defendant failed and was taken to Dungannon Custody Suite. At the station Mr Raudonaitis refused to give another breath sample telling officers he was ‘not blowing’. Checks on the police database revealed that he was a disqualified driver with a four year ban currently in place and also that he was uninsured.
Going through Mr Raudonaitis’ lengthy record, District Judge John Meehan noted that the defendant currently had some seventeen months of suspended sentences hanging over him.
A defence barrister acting for Mr Raudonaitis told the court ‘in terms of this defendant’s attitude to driving little can be said, he clearly has issues with following authority. He also noted that his client had apologised a number of times in the pre-sentence report.
Sentencing Mr Raudonaitis, Judge Meehan said: “You return to the courts for the 8th time since you first starting offending, due to your stubborn attitude where driving is concerned.”
Raudonaitis was sentenced to a total of eighteen months in prison for his offences, including the activation of suspended sentences from his previous convictions.
He was also banned from driving for a period of four years and ordered to pay a £25 offender levy to the court.
Concluding, Judge Meehan added: “18 months is no more than you deserve, you have an unchanged attitude to driving. I think you should pay the full measure of your punishment.”