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15 Aug 2022

Woman claims she was forced at knifepoint to drive car in Laois

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Woman claims she was forced at knifepoint to drive car in Laois

Woman claims she was forced at knifepoint to drive car in Laois

A woman with no insurance who claimed she was forced at knifepoint by her ex-partner to drive has been given the probation act.

At Portlaoise District Court, Rebecca Deegan, 27, of no fixed abode, was charged with having no insurance, tax or NCT, and failing to provide documents, at Grange Hall, Mountmellick, on September 27, 2018.

Garda Rabbitte gave evidence that on September 27 last, he was on mobile patrol when he observed a car coming from the Portarlington direction towards Mountmellick, being driven by a male.

The car turned into a housing estate so the garda followed and he observed the male getting out of the driver’s side and sitting in the passenger seat, while the accused got out and sat in the driver’s seat.

Garda Rabbitte said he saw the accused reverse the car so he pulled up and spoke to her and she handed him her licence. Garda Rabbitte said she had no tax, insurance or NCT. A fixed penalty notice was issued, but went unpaid.

Defence, Ms Suzanne Dooner asked Garda Rabbitte had the male given his name, to which the garda replied that the male had given the name Deegan, which was a false name.

Ms Dooner said the accused had previously been in a relationship with this man and there allegedly was an assault charge to come against him.

The accused took the witness box, to say she was terrified of the man in question.

She said she couldn’t remember what she had said to the garda on the day, but the man had pulled a knife on her and told her to get in the driver’s seat or she would be killed.

She also denied reversing the car.

The witness further said she had been unaware that the man had given her brother’s name to the garda on the day.

Judge Catherine Staines said she was satisfied that the garda had seen her reversing the car, however she said she would give the accused the benefit of the doubt on the NCT and tax.

The judge applied the probation act.

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