herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Cleaner banned from driving begs judge for 'one last chance'

Michelle Ferris pleaded guilty to driving without a licence. Photo: Mark Condren
Michelle Ferris pleaded guilty to driving without a licence. Photo: Mark Condren

A cleaner banned from driving "took a chance" after she was offered a job some distance from her home.

Michelle Ferris (41) begged a judge not to send her to jail, saying she was "horrified" that her behaviour could get her locked up.

Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a three-month sentence, but suspended it for one year.

He also fined Ferris €200 and banned her from driving for six years.

The defendant, of Dun Saithne Avenue, Balbriggan, admitted before Swords District Court to driving without insurance or a driving licence.

Gda Elaine Gallery said she stopped Ferris driving a 2003-registered car at Flemington Lane, Balbriggan, on April 7.

Gda Gallery said Ferris admitted she was a disqualified driver and did not have insurance or a licence.

Seized

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said the car was seized by gardai and Ferris is no longer driving.

Ms D'Arcy said Ferris, a mother-of-one, is a cleaner.

She was offered work some distance from her home and she took a chance and got into her car. At the time of this incident she was breaking up from her partner, and she was under a lot of stress and pressure.

Ms D'Arcy said Ferris is now on her own as her ex- partner has since been incarcerated.

She said she warned Ferris, before court, that she faced a possible prison sentence, and the defendant was "absolutely horrified" that her "stupid" behaviour could land her in jail.

She asked the judge to give Ferris "one last chance".

Imposing the suspended sentence, Judge Dempsey warned Ferris she faced going to jail if she re-offends.

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