Limerick driver was banned for 12 years when he was caught behind the wheel

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Warning: Judge Marian O’Leary adjourned the case

Warning: Judge Marian O’Leary adjourned the case

A LIMERICK man who was caught driving near his home despite being banned for 12 years has been warned he will go to jail if comes to the attention of gardai again.

Stephen Curtin, aged 27, of Salvia Court, Keyes Park, Southill pleaded guilty to driving without insurance or a driving licence at Byrne Avenue, Prospect – less than a year after he was disqualified.

Inspector Paul Reidy told Limerick District Court the defendant has a large number of convictions for driving without insurance and that he has been convicted of driving while disqualified on “at least six occasions” in the past.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told he is currently the subject of several disqualification orders – the most recent of which was imposed last July.

Solicitor Tom Kiely said his client, who has more than 80 previous convictions, has also served a number of prison sentences in the past and that he was released in October having served a five month sentence for an offence which post-dated the offence before the court.

He said Mr Curtin – a father of three young children – did not seek to evade gardai and had put his hands up when he was observed driving at Byrne Avenue last year.

“He didn’t seek to minimise matters,” he said.

Urging the court to be lenient, Mr Kiely said his client has not driven since his release from prison and that he “appears to be doing his best to stay on the right course”.

Mr Kiely said there is an underlying addiction issue which was a contributing factor in his client’s behaviour in  the past.

“He seems to be serious about tackling his addition problems,” Mr Kiely said, adding that his client had engaged with a number of services while in prison and has attended several Saoirse appointments since being released last month.

“He seems to be copping on – albeit late in the day,” the solicitor said, adding that Mr Curtin knows he cannot drive again.

Having considered the matter and noting the submissions from Mr Kiely, Judge O’Leary agreed to adjourn the matter for six months for review.

The State did not oppose the application for an adjournment.

Putting the case back to May 2017, the judge warned warned: “If he comes to garda attention again he knows what will  happen.”