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Monday 5 December 2016

Mum-of-five gets four months for driving without insurance

Judge Dermot Dempsey, at Balbriggan District Court, told Julia Lawrence (32) she was
Judge Dermot Dempsey, at Balbriggan District Court, told Julia Lawrence (32) she was "given every opportunity" to avoid a custodial sentence but had "flung it back in the face of the court".

A mother-of-five who drove uninsured for the fourth time has been sentenced to four months in prison and banned for six years.

Judge Dermot Dempsey, at Balbriggan District Court, told Julia Lawrence (32) she was "given every opportunity" to avoid a custodial sentence but had "flung it back in the face of the court".

Lawrence, of Ardlagh Cott- ages, Skerries, was stopped at a checkpoint at Cliff Lands in Rush where it was discovered she was driving without insurance or a licence.

"She claimed at the time that she had insurance," said Gda Ross Rowan.

Lawrence, who has 14 previous convictions including three for driving without insurance dating from 2011, 2014 and 2015 pleaded guilty to driving uninsured on May 24 in Rush.

Defence solicitor Eleanor Kelly said Lawrence's mother was unwell and she had driven to the shop to get some groceries.

Anxious

She did not have her children in the car at the time she was stopped.

"She accepts that he shouldn't have been on the road and she knows she isn't in a great position before the court," said Ms Kelly.

"She is anxious that she doesn't get a custodial sentence as she has five children and one of them is ill."

Ms Kelly asked Judge Dempsey to consider Lawrence for engagement with the Probation Services as an alternative to prison.

However, the judge said the defendant had been given several opportunities" to avoid prison but had "flung it back in the face of the court".

"She has three previous no-insurance convictions and she should have thought of her children before she got into the car to drive uninsured for a fourth time," he said.

He convicted and sentenced her to four months in prison, disqualified her from driving for six years and convicted and fined her €200 for having no driving licence.

He also fined her €100 for having no NCT.

He fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal.

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