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Motorist caught with no insurance for 18th time jailed

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Stephen Ward ‘had no interest in getting into a car again’

Stephen Ward ‘had no interest in getting into a car again’

Stephen Ward ‘had no interest in getting into a car again’

A motorist who was already under a driving ban has been given a two-month sentence after he was stopped driving without insurance for the 18th time.

Stephen Ward's defence admitted he was "running out of road" when he came before the courts and pleaded for leniency for his latest offence, saying he had "no interest in ever getting into a car again".

Judge Patricia McNamara said she had to impose some form of prison term and sentenced him to five months, with the final three suspended.

She also banned him from driving for another 10 years, and fined him €450.

Ward (41), a father-of-one from Belcamp Crescent, Priorswood, pleaded guilty to uninsured driving on May 26, 2017.

Dublin District Court heard gardai were on duty at Collins Avenue, Santry, when they saw the accused driving at 8.30pm and stopped him.

Ward had 158 previous convictions, including 17 for uninsured driving and multiple other motoring offences.

At one point, he had been given a 15-year driving ban.

Healthier

Ward had not come to the attention of gardai since the latest offence and when he appeared in court he looked "a lot healthier" than previously, his barrister Alan Grace said.

The accused had served a sentence, was released last year and had been keeping "his nose clean" since, Mr Grace said.

Ward was on social welfare but worked in a garage previously.

The accused, who had become addicted to heroin in his teens, had got clean while in custody, was now off all drugs - including methadone - and had "cleaned his act up quite a bit" and "changed his life substantially", Mr Grace said.

Ward was aware of the seriousness of his situation given his record and had anxiety about going back into custody.

Mr Grace asked the judge if she would instead "put him to the test" by not jailing him.

Judge McNamara said she was taking into account the accused's guilty plea and the fact that he had done well since he came out of prison.

However, she said he had a serious past history.