A Portlaoise man who drove twice just weeks apart without a licence or insurance could be given the maximum amount of community service in lieu of prison.
John Green (26), with an address listed at O’Moore Place, Portlaoise, faced charges of having no licence or insurance on two separate dates.
Inspector Ollie Baker gave evidence that on July 13 this year, the accused was stopped driving in Ballyfin and found to have no driving licence or insurance.
Again on August 5, the accused was stopped driving and had no driving licence or insurance.
He had 13 previous convictions, including two for no insurance, the latest of which was at Portlaoise District Court on April 3, 2014, where he was fined €400 and disqualified from driving for four years.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client understood he was at risk of a prison sentence.
Regarding his most recent four-year driving disqualification, Ms Fitzpatrick said he had believed it was a three-year ban and he had thought the disqualification was up, but it clearly wasn’t.
In relation to the offence on July 13, Ms Fitzpatrick said her client’s partner had dropped him to his mother’s house to do repairs on a car, but as she couldn’t come back to collect him he foolishly drove.
There was no traffic accident, nor were there any drink or drugs issues.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that he had compounded matters by driving again a few weeks later on August 5. His partner, who was pregnant, was driving, but she started to experience pains and he took over the driving.
Defence went on to say that the accused’s partner had given birth on August 30 and things are very hands on at home.
The car he had driven is now gone, and his partner drives her own car. The accused understands he cannot drive it, said Ms Fitzpatrick.
Saying that this was really the accused’s last chance, Judge Catherine Staines put the matter back to November 2 for a community service report, recommending 240 hours in lieu of six months in prison.
The judge said she would impose a six-year driving disqualification on that date.