Banned Limerick driver crashed into ditch after ‘looking down’ at her phone 

David Hurley


David Hurley

Newcastle West Court heard the woman crashed into a ditch after she ‘looked down’ at her mobile phone

Newcastle West Court heard the woman crashed into a ditch after she ‘looked down’ at her mobile phone

A LIMERICK woman who crashed into a ditch after she ‘looked down’ at her mobile phone was disqualified from driving at the time, a court has heard.

Jessica Kennedy, aged 31, who has an address at Crannóg, Dublin Road, Limerick was convicted of a number of charges relating to an incident at Rowerbeg, Adare, at around 4.30pm on March 16, 2018.

Garda Patrick Buckley told Newcastle West Court when he responded to reports of a road traffic accident around 1km from the village he observed a red Toyota Corolla car which was “embedded” in the ditch on the left hand side of the road.

The occupants of the car, he added, were trapped in the vehicle as the overgrowth was preventing them from opening the doors to get out.

There was no evidence that any of those in the car sustained injury as a result of the single vehicle accident.

Garda Buckley said he spoke to the driver – Ms Kennedy – at the scene and that she informed him she had gone straight in the ditch when she ‘looked down’ at her phone when it rang.

The defendant, who was in the early stages of pregnancy at the time, was asked to produce documentation, such as her insurance certificate and licence, to gardai but failed to do so.

It was later established that Ms Kennedy, who has a number of previous convictions, was disqualified at the time and was not insured.

Noting her previous convictions, Judge Mary Larkin commented that it appeared Ms Kennedy had been driving “for a good period” after she was disqualified for four years having been convicted, in January 2017, of a drink-driving offence.

She imposed a four-year disqualification and a fine of €2,000 in relation to the no insurance charge while a €300 fine was imposed for driving without a licence.

A separate driving ban of two years and a €300 fine were imposed in relation to the careless driving charge relating to the same incident.

The defendant was not present in court for the hearing and recognizances were set in the event of an appeal being lodged.