Judge Seamus Hughes
A man living in a caravan in Longford town and who was caught behind the wheel of a car whilst being banned from driving and with having four bald tyres has been given a suspended prison sentence by Judge Seamus Hughes.
Alan Whelan, Annaly Car Park, Longford was handed the sentence at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court after pleading guilty to driving with no insurance at Ballinalee Road, Longford on December 20 2018. He also pleaded guilty to having no driving licence contrary to Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, failure to produce and four counts of driving with a bald tyre on the same date.
In defence, solicitor Fiona Baxter said her client was holding his hands up over the incident but was not acceptive to allegations he had been caught by Garda Eoin Flynn without also having a seatbelt on. She said Mr Whelan was remaining firm in his stance his belt was on, but had been taken off by the time Garda Flynn approached his car.
Ms Baxter did nonetheless accept the fact Mr Whelan had no driving licence and should not have been on the road at the time. In response to questioning from Judge Seamus Hughes, Sgt Paddy McGirl said Mr Whelan had nine previous convictions to his name, the latest of which was recorded in Carrick-On-Shannon on February 22 2018 for no insurance.
That court appearance resulted in a €100 fine and two year driving ban being imposed on Mr Whelan. A further road traffic offence came in Fermanagh in July 2017 along with a suspended prison sentence. Ms Baxter, in response, said Mr Whelan had no access to a car at present and, as such, was not intending to drive again anytime soon.
Judge Seamus Hughes, in summation, handed down a four month prison sentence, suspending it for a period of three years for the no insurance charge. He also fined Mr Whelan due to his previous record and gave him three months to pay.
A further €105 fine was imposed for driving with no licence as well as a €250 fine on one of the bald tyre summonses. All other summonses were struck out. A four year driving disqualification was similarly imposed by Judge Seamus Hughes.