A man who was convicted twice of driving while under the influence of alcohol has had a private hire licence granted by West Dunbartonshire Council. Jerome Fitzpatrick from Clydebank applied for a temporary six-week PHV licence which was granted during a council licensing committee meeting.
The committee heard that the 62-year-old was fined £400 and disqualified for one year in 2007 after driving a vehicle in Clydebank whilst more than one and a half times the legal drink drive limit. Fitzpatrick was also charged and convicted in 2011 for driving in Old Kilpatrick whilst being more than three times over the legal limit and was handed a punishment of 225 hours of unpaid work and disqualified for four years and six months. Fitzpatrick, who stood before the committee, pleaded with members to give him a chance. He stressed his desperate need to get back to work along with reassuring councillors that his drink issues had been resolved. As reported by the Clydebank Post, Fitzpatrick, speaking directly in the meeting, said: “Can I first apologise to the community for having to be here. There is no excuse. No excuse for what I did. It was dangerous, selfish and I am deeply ashamed. “I was going through a very dark period at the time. Over the last few years I have sought medical help and therapy. “I went through serious depression. I was referred to Stepping Stones, which was of great benefit to me. I feel I am in a much better place now than I have ever been. “I have not been able to work. I’m 62 and I have worked all my life. Work is a major part of my life. I do need to get back to work.” As no other offences had been recorded since Fitzpatrick's last in 2011, Councillor Jonathan McColl moved to grant the application for a temporary six week licence, stating he had already lined up a job. Granting the licence, Cllr McColl said: “The last offence is quite historic now and I am not seeing any issues since, albeit this was very serious.”
Image: Source; Geograph
Image: Author; John Firth