herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Dad was driving without insurance for 15th time

Blanchardstown

Darren Smithers has 81 previous convictions
Darren Smithers has 81 previous convictions

A man who drove for the 15th time without insurance has been given a three-month prison sentence and banned from driving for eight years.

Darren Smithers, who has 81 previous convictions - including 15 for no insurance and five for drink driving - was told by Judge David McHugh that he has "one of the most appalling road traffic offences record" he has ever seen.

Garda Brendan Carey told Blanchardstown District Court that gardai observed Smithers driving along the Finglas Road at around 6pm.

He was stopped by gardai on Glenhill Road and was found to be driving without insurance and no driving licence.

Smithers (31), of Barry Close in Finglas, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and without a licence on December 2, 2014, at Glenhill Road.

The defendant, who has two children, admitted to gardai he had no insurance, his solicitor told the court.

"He was driving his girlfriend's car," the solicitor said. "He apologises for driving without insurance. He is putting himself at the mercy of the courts."

Judge McHugh said the defendant, who studies catering at Colaiste Ide, "has a considerable mountain to climb to avoid a sentence". Smithers' solicitor asked if the judge would consider community service.

"This is one of the most appalling road traffic offences records I have seen," said Judge McHugh before sentencing Smithers to three months in prison and disqualifying him from driving for three years.

After the conviction was handed down, Smithers lodged an appeal, which means he has been granted bail until the appeal hearing. However, Judge McHugh warned the defendant if he continues to drive uninsured "there's only one place he's going".

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