herald

Saturday 25 January 2020

3 months in jail for heavily pregnant disqualified driver

Heba Kelly cried and begged judge not to send her to prison
Heba Kelly cried and begged judge not to send her to prison

A heavily pregnant woman caught driving while disqualified has received a three-month jail sentence.

Heba Kelly (31) started to cry and begged a judge not to jail her, saying she was due to have a Caesarean section the following week.

However, Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a three-month sentence, fined her €250 and disqualified her from driving for 10 years.

Defence lawyer Annette Kealy asked the judge to suspend the sentence as Kelly was due to have her third child.

Judge Dempsey said this was not a consideration for the court, and Kelly had been "flying in the face of court orders for long enough".

The defendant, of Melville Square, Finglas, admitted driving without insurance or a licence when she appeared before Swords District Court.

Gda Stephen Cowley said he was operating a checkpoint at Stockhole Lane, Cloghran, on October 11, 2017 when he stopped Kelly.

False

He said there was no insurance disc displayed on the car. He asked the defendant for her driving licence, but she said she did not have it on her.

Gda Cowley said Kelly gave the false name of Edel McGrath. He had doubts about her identity and she was taken to Swords Garda Station where he discovered her real name.

Gda Cowley made the lawful demand for Kelly to produce her insurance documents and driving licence, but she failed to do so.

Kelly had two previous convictions for uninsured driving.

Her lawyer said her client gave a false name "out of panic".

Ms Kealy said Kelly had bought the car online for €50 and had planned to park it up.

A friend had asked her to drive her home, and she had foolishly agreed to do so.

Ms Kealy said Kelly, a mother of two children, was heavily pregnant with her third.

This incident took place in 2017, and Kelly had not been driving since, Ms Kealy said.

"Or she hadn't been detected," the judge interjected.

Ms Kealy also said Kelly was ashamed of her behaviour.

Recognisances were set for an appeal.

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