Speeding motorist was 'driving a loaded gun'

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A man caught speeding at close to 180km/h in a 120km zone was virtually “driving a loaded gun” and is lucky to be alive.

So said Judge Catherine Staines yesterday (Thursday, November 16) to Shan McCarthy (24), Steeple Meadows Close, Milltown, Kerry, who was charged with dangerous driving. This was reduced to a charge of careless driving.

State’s evidence at Portlaoise District Court outlined that he was driving at 178km/h in a 120km zone, at the M7, Ballydavis, Portlaoise, on May 14 this year.

“Do cars even go at that speed?” asked an incredulous Judge Staines.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick, said that the accused, a hairdresser by occupation, had been driving an Audi 35.

“He was surprised himself he was even doing that speed,” said defence.

The accused had no previous convictions.

Said Judge Staines: “Driving like this is the reason young men’s car insurance is so high, because of people like you driving at this speed. It’s absolutely appalling, it’s like driving a loaded gun.”

Judge Staines convicted and fined the accused €300 and disqualified him from driving for six months.

“You should be thankful the garda stopped you, because he probably saved your life,” Judge Staines told the accused.