A JUDGE expressed her disbelief after she was informed that a county Limerick man had been caught driving without insurance for a 15th time.
Patrick Dillon, aged 37, of Killeaney Mor, Glin pleaded guilty at Newcastle West Court to driving without insurance and driving while disqualified earlier this year.
The court heard the defendant was stopped by Garda Errol Flynn at East Mall, Glin on January 21, 2015.
Inspector Brian O’Donovan, prosecuting, informed Judge Mary Larkin that Dillon has a total of 132 previous convictions – many of which related to road traffic matters..
“There are 14 for no insurance and he is currently disqualified from driving for 35 years,” said Insp O’Donovan.
Michael O’Donnell, solicitor for Dillon, accepted his client’s record is obviously very bad.
“He has been out of trouble since 2008. These (offences) happened when he was much younger,” he said adding that his client is now aged 37 and has three children.
“On this particular occasion he had just got a job and chanced his arm. He doesn’t have a vehicle, he has a bicycle,” he said.
Having heard details of the offence, Judge Larkin expressed her disbelief.
“It is almost unbelievable – 14 previous for no insurance. That’s an average of around two a year since 2000,” she said.
“It sounds bad,” said Mr O’Donnell.
“It is bad,” replied Judge Larkin.
The judge imposed a fine of €650 and she handed down a five month prison sentence which she suspended given the defendant’s circumstances.
Separately, the judge imposed a 15 year driving ban in relation to the charge of driving while disqualified
Mr Dillon was dined €650 in relation to that charge.
“Explain to him I am being extraordinarily lenient on this occasion. With his history it is highly unlikely he will escape again,” Judge Larkin told Mr O’Donnell.