Banned driver was caught out when he dropped car keys
A hapless driver was caught in his lie when he dropped his car keys after denying to gardai that he was driving the vehicle.
Jason Harford (28) claimed it was "a blip" as he was stressed and struggling to care for his severely autistic son.
Judge John Cheetle disqualified Harford from driving for four years, but did not fine him due to his "domestic circumstances".
The defendant, of Glasmore Park, Swords, admitted driving without insurance or a driving licence before Swords District Court.
Sergeant Bob Kavanagh said gardai received reports in relation to a driver at St Cronan's Avenue, Swords, shortly after 4pm on June 12.
Sgt Kavanagh said Harford got out of the car, and initially denied that he was the driver of the vehicle, a Volkswagen Passat.
However, he admitted he was the driver when he dropped the keys while talking to gardai.
Harford was asked to produce his insurance documentation but he admitted at the scene that he did not have any insurance.
The court heard Harford had 20 previous convictions, and had received a two-year driving ban in January 2016.
Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said that the defendant had a drug problem in the past but had been stabilised on methadone for some time.
Ms D'Arcy said this incident was "a blip" and Harford had not been in trouble in nearly two years.
She said Harford was sorry for driving the car but added that the defendant was under significant stress and pressure at the time.
Ms D'Arcy said Harford has a severely autistic son, and he and his partner sometimes struggled to care for him.
The court heard Harford was active in the community, and had been involved in the local Tidy Towns group.