herald

Monday 26 February 2018

Man with the 'worst record' of driving is jailed

Stock picture: Getty
Stock picture: Getty

A motorist with one of "the worst records" of uninsured driving has been jailed for five months and put off the road for 25 years.

James Connors (60) had 39 previous convictions for uninsured driving when he was stopped by gardai earlier this year.

He was also driving while banned, Dublin District Court was told.

Connors, of The Avenue, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to driving with no insurance or licence and giving gardai a false name and address.

Judge Bryan Smyth heard Connors was stopped by gardai while driving a Nissan Micra in Walkinstown Avenue last April 9.

After he was arrested, it was discovered he had been banned from driving for 25 years.

The court was told that Connors' marriage had broken down because of his alcohol addiction, he had been homeless for the past four years and his brother had recently been murdered.

He was a protected prisoner in custody and under 23-hour lock-up related to his brother's murder.

Suicide

Connors asked the judge if he could address the court before sentencing

He said he had saved €300,000 over 30 years to buy a house for his family but Revenue "got me for" that amount and left him homeless.

"All my future was in the money I had saved up so my future fell to pieces," he said. "My plan for the future was shattered when they got the money off me."

His son had committed suicide recently.

Connors had not been in his right mind when he committed the offences, his lawyer said.

His offending was linked to his addiction to alcohol.

He had not had any alcohol while he had been in custody and was clearer of mind and "much better for it".

The accused accepted he had an "unattractive" history of offending and his lawyer asked the judge to be as lenient as he could in the circumstances.

"He has one of the worst if not the worst record for driving without insurance I have ever had to deal with," Judge Smyth said.

"In the circumstances, the court has no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence."

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