Community service for fourth no insurance offence

Driving

Community service for fourth no insurance offence

A 25-year-old man convicted of his fourth no insurance offence has been given community service in lieu of six months in prison.

George Bassett (25), Ballyspillane, Johnstown, Kilkenny, was charged at last week’s sitting of the district court in Portlaoise with driving with no licence or insurance.

Inspector Jer Glavin gave evidence that on March 22, at Woodview, Durrow, the accused was detected driving a vehicle while disqualified.

He had 12 previous convictions, all road traffic matters, including three for no insurance.

“So this is the third time he's driven while disqualified,” noted Judge Catherine Staines.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald admitted that the case looked “very bleak on the face of it” as this was his client’s fourth no insurance charge.

His last driving suspension had been imposed while Bassett had been in England, said defence, and when he returned from England he had insurance on an English car.

“He should have been more prudent,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Defence went on to say that he had asked the accused why this breach of the law keeps happening, and Bassett said he simply wasn’t careful.

“He needs to cop on,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Remarked Judge Staines: “He seems to have absolutely no respect for the court and absolutely no respect for the road traffic laws.”

Addressing the court himself, the accused said he wasn’t aware he had been given a four-year disqualification as he had been in England when the matter was dealt with by the court.

He admitted he should have looked into the matter more.

Judge Staines imposed 240 hours’ community service in lieu of six months in prison, and disqualified the accused from driving for four years.

The accused was refused legal aid, as he receives €250 a week and pays no money at home.