The mother of four was charged at Newcastle West court with holding a mobile phone while driving
A MOTHER-OF-FOUR, charged with holding a mobile phone while driving, was taking a call about her sick baby when she was caught, Newcastle West court heard.
Before the court was Christine Long, 38 Sharwood Estate, Newcastle West and the offence for which she was charged took place at St Mary’s Rd, Newcastle West last March 18. The fixed charge penalty had not been paid, Garda Thomas Moroney told the court.
Pleading for her client, solicitor Kate Cussen explained she would have paid the fine, had she read the summons and realised she had a second opportunity to do so. Her client was taking a call from a nurse at Shannondoc at the time, Ms Cussen said.
“She was pulling in when answering.”
The court heard that last June 26, Ms Long was convicted of driving without insurance and of careless driving on a date in May, 2017.
Judge Mary Cashin told Ms Long: “You obviously don’t take any of this very seriously. You have already been up for careless driving and you are taking a phone call where children are in the car.”
“My baby was sick,” Ms Long said.
“Have you seen the ads?” the judge asked. “You are risking your children. No doubt you did it other times but you were caught this time.”
Ms Cussen stressed that the baby was “very sick”.
“The baby could be dead if something happened,” Judge Cashin said.
“You are a parent. You do not put your children at risk for any reason,”she told Ms Long.
“We see this on the roads every week, horrendous accidents where children are being killed, adults are being killed.”
She fined the defendant €100, saying: “I would hope not to see you before the court again.”