County Limerick speeding prosecution thrown out because of typo in paperwork

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Newcastle West Court

Newcastle West Court

A WOMAN who was unable to pay a fine for speeding because of a typo on official paperwork has had her case dismissed.

Patrice Bennett of Castleview, Newcastle West was prosecuted before the local court in relation to an offence which was detected on the N21 at Croagh on April 30, last.

Judge Flann Brennan heard evidence from the operator of a GoSafe van who told the court court he detected the car being driven by the defendant travelling at 60Km/h in a 50km zone at 11.41am.

He confirmed the case was handled in the usual way and was referred to gardai who subsequently established the defendant was the registered owner of the vehicle.

A summons was a issued a number of months later after the fine was not paid by Ms Bennett within the specified timeframe.

Solicitor Rossa McMahon told the court his client had bought the car in 2016 but that the name “Patricia Bennett” had appeared on the registration book after she changed address.

Ho noted the prosecution before the court was also against a “Patricia Bennett”.

He said having been alerted to the typo, Ms Bennett had made efforts to rectify the error and had submitted the relevant paperwork to the Department of Transport in advance of the speeding offence.

Mr McMahon said the defendant was not disputing that she was driving on the day or that she had been speeding as outlined by the GoSafe operator.

He told the court that she had attempted to pay the €80 fine but was informed the payment could not be accepted as the name on her driving licence did not match the name on the registration book.

“The name on her licence does not match the system. She could not pay the fine due to the mismatch,” he said.

The solicitor cited a recent High Court judgment in support of his application to have the matter dismissed.

“There is no dispute as to her identity,” he said.

Inspector Alan Cullen did not dispute the submissions and he accepted that Ms Bennett had made a bona fide attempt to pay the fine and that it was not accepted.

Having considered the matter, Judge Brennan granted the application and dismissed the case.

In addition to avoiding a conviction, Ms Bennett will not receive any penalty points on her driving licence.