herald

Saturday 1 October 2016

Pool champion 'didn't realise' he was driving 195kph

Martin Joyce has been banned from driving for two months
Martin Joyce has been banned from driving for two months

An Irish international pool champion caught doing 195kph in a 120km zone on a motorway has been put off the road for two months. Martin Joyce (22) claimed that he "didn't realise he was driving so fast".

He begged a judge not to disqualify him from driving, claiming he needs his licence to get to pool competitions.

Swords District Court heard that Joyce only received his full driving licence in April and he was now "keeping to the speed limit and not taking any chances".

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined Joyce €300 and banned him from driving for two months, saying his speed was reckless.

The incident took place shortly before 11pm at the M1 at Walshestown on October 29 last year.

Sergeant Bob Kavanagh said gardai were operating a speed checkpoint on the southbound carriageway. He said Joyce drove past officers at high speed in the overtaking lane.

The sergeant said Joyce was clocked doing 195km in a 120km zone. He said there was some traffic on the motorway, describing the level as medium.

The garda said gardai followed Joyce and ordered him to pull over, which he did.

Swerving

He was driving a Peugeot 407, the court heard.

Sgt Kavanagh accepted that Joyce was not swerving or crossing over lanes, and that the main issue was speed.

The court heard that Joyce has a number of previous convictions, though none for road traffic matters.

Joyce's defence lawyer said that her client "didn't realise he was going so fast" and he was "now keeping to the speed limit".

She said that the defendant has had an eventful year. He got his full driving licence in April, he also got married and his wife is expecting their first child.

The lawyer said that Joyce's aunt also died a week after his marriage. She said he was unemployed but had an offer of a job as a van driver if he keeps his licence.

The court heard that Joyce is a talented young pool player, and was on the Irish team that won the European Championships in 2011.

Joyce, of St Brigid's Lawn in Blanchardstown, had admitted to a charge of careless driving. He was originally charged with dangerous driving but Judge Dempsey accepted a plea to the lesser charge of careless driving.

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