Wednesday 13 December 2017

Judge's anger as mum-to-be read magazine in court

A JUDGE hit out at a young mum-to-be for reading "Hello, or goodbye or whatever else it is" while her case was being dealt with.

Dublin District Court had heard how Danielle Caffrey was living a "cocaine-fuelled lifestyle" when she repeatedly drove without insurance.

The court heard she told one investigating garda: "You know I am banned from driving."

The 22-year-old was already under a driving disqualification when she was caught behind the wheel by an officer and made the remark.

On another occasion, she left her car and tried to pretend she had not been driving at all.

Caffrey, who is now pregnant, was banned from driving for another 10 years and ordered to carry out community service in lieu of a jail sentence.

The accused, with an address at Ashton Mews, Cabra, pleaded guilty to charges of driving without insurance and driving while under a suspension in 2009 and 2010.

Dublin District Court heard in the first incident, gardai were on patrol at the Navan Road on October 15, 2009. She was driving at speed and an officer stopped and asked for her licence and proof of insurance.


On checking later, she was found to have been disqualified since the previous June.

On December 16, 2009, gardai stopped Caffrey driving towards the city centre, again on the Navan Road and when they asked for her licence and proof of insurance, she replied: "You know that I am banned from driving."

Having checked this, it was discovered that she had been put off the road.

On January 8, 2010, Caffrey was seen by gardai driving before turning and entering an underground car park. They noted she was wearing a brown wool cardigan.

One of the officers saw that the car had been left unlocked and Caffrey was nearby wearing the same cardigan. When confronted, she denied driving and said she had no keys.

The defendant had several similar previous convictions, had been given a suspended sentence, and spent some time in custody on remand.

Caffrey's road traffic record was "appalling", her solicitor Conor Ruane admitted.

All the offences happened at a time when she had an "extremely bad cocaine habit". Caffrey accepted that she would not be driving a car again in the immediate future.

Judge Patrick Clyne remarked that the defendant was "cocking a snook" at "what the court stands for".

Mr Ruane accepted that his client "obviously had an attitude towards the law".


When the case resumed after an adjournment, the judge said he did not think it was a "sign of respect" that Caffrey returned and sat reading "a social magazine -- Hello or goodbye or whatever else it is" while waiting for her case to be finalised.

He acknowledged that Mr Ruane had not seen this.

He ordered Caffrey to carry out 200 hours' community service instead of a three-month jail sentence.


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