Jail for banned Limerick motorist who was captured driving on CCTV

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick District Court was told the defendant, who has 34 previous convictions, was disqualified from driving for two years in November 2016

Limerick District Court was told the defendant, who has 34 previous convictions, was disqualified from driving for two years in November 2016

A LIMERICK motorist who was caught driving on four separate dates less than six months after he was disqualified has been sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.

Christopher McCarthy, aged 53, of Hyde Road, Prospect pleaded guilty to charges relating to incidents which happened near his home on dates between January and April 2017.

Limerick District Court was told the defendant, who has 34 previous convictions, was disqualified from driving for two years in November 2016 for a drink-driving offence.

He has also received a further driving ban since for a separate offence.

Sergeant Donal Cronin told the court that on each occasion the defendant was observed driving, he was approached by gardai who requested that he produce his driving licence and certificate of insurance.

The offences, he said, occurred at either Childers Road or Hyde Road and on each date the defendant was driving the same car – Black Volkswagen Passat.

Mr McCarthy, he added, was disqualified on each date, did not have insurance and did not have driving licence.

Solicitor Sarah Ryan said a number of the offences were detected due to the presence of a ‘live’ CCTV camera near Mr McCarthy’s home.

“If he moves outside his door to scratch himself, he has gardai watching him,” she said describing the method of detection as “very mean”.

In relation to one of the offences, Ms Ryan said her client had moved his car ‘for safety reasons’ due to the presence of youths who were riding scrambler bikes in the area.

“He moved it a short distance. It wasn’t a matter of him driving around town,” she said adding  that there is no driveway outside her client’s home and that he has to park on the street.

The solicitor said her client accepts he should not have been driving but seeking leniency she said the “method of detection” was a factor to be considered by the court.

“In theory if he came out next Sunday to listen to Limerick and Tipperary on the (car) radio, he could be prosecuted,” she said.

Judge Marian O’Leary replied by stating there would not be a problem if Mr McCarthy had his insurance in order.

She added that she did not believe community service was appropriate given the number of offences before the court and their proximity to the imposition of the previous driving ban.

In addition to imposing a three month prison sentence, the judge imposed a number of concurrent driving bans which totalled five years.

Mr McCarthy was also fined a total of €2,000.

A circuit court appeal against the custodial element of the sentence has been lodged.