Tyrone man dubbed ‘free rider’ sent to jail for motoring offences

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A Moy man has been imprisoned for three months after being detected without car insurance for the fourth time.

Appearing to be sentenced at East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court was Marius Pernarauskas, 27, from Charlemont Street.

The court heard how police were called to a one-vehicle crash close to Ballygawley on December 22. The defendant was nearby and admitted to having been at the wheel when the car hit the hedge.

He later provided a breath sample one and a half times the limit.

His solicitor told the court that this was Pernarauskas’ fourth conviction for no insurance and also admitted that his client - who is in full employment and has two children - had never passed a driving test in N. Ireland or Lithuania.

He informed the court that the defendant had first appeared for the offence of no insurance in 2005 and again in 2010.

“Thankfully no one was hurt in the collision ... he is a man who should know better,” he told the court as he appealed to the judge not to impose a custodial sentence.

“It is difficult to know what possesses you to continue as a free rider,” said District Judge John Meehan. “You have never taken out insurance, you have never taken the driving test.

“You have appeared repeatedly before the courts with the same attitude each time ... you say you are regretful and then you simply carry on.

“You were sent to prison for three months for your third no insurance, but on appeal that was made suspended ... you were looking at a jail sentence, yet here you are again.”

“What makes it worse is that you planned to be drunk on the road at Christmas time,” he told the defendant as he imposed a sentence totalling three months in prison as well as a four-year driving disqualification.

A fine of £200 was also handed down. He further ordered the forfeiture of Pernarauskas’ car.