Sunday 30 April 2017

Banned driver panicked and told gardai, 'I'm model Roz Purcell'

Roz Purcell in Thailand. Picture: Instagram
Roz Purcell in Thailand. Picture: Instagram

Nicola Donnelly

A YOUNG woman who was caught driving without insurance for a sixth time told gardai her name was Roz Purcell when she was stopped.

Christina Joyce was sentenced to four months in prison on her 25th birthday after appearing before Swords District Court.

Joyce was also disqualified from driving for 15 years after the court heard she drove while subject to a 10-year ban.

The court was told she was using the car to drive to hotels in a bid to secure accommodation on the day she was stopped at a checkpoint in Cloghran, Swords.

She was also sleeping in the car when she could not find accommodation.

Joyce, who is now living in long-term accommodation at the Regency Hotel, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, driving while disqualified, having no driving licence and giving gardai a false name at Stockhole Lane, Cloghran, last October 3.

Roz Purcell at Today FM. Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Roz Purcell at Today FM. Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM

Her solicitor said Joyce was driving to the Premier Inn at Swords to try to secure accommodation for the night, but she could not get any.

"She realises it is wrong to be using the car," the solicitor said, adding that she panicked and gave gardai the name Roz Purcell - a top model and former Miss Universe Ireland contestant - when she was stopped.

Her solicitor asked Judge Dermot Dempsey to "deal with her as leniently as possible".

However, on hearing that Joyce has five previous no-insurance convictions and four for driving without a licence, Judge Dempsey said it "seems all remedies have been exhausted".

"She was caught driving in January, April and October last year when she shouldn't have been," he noted.

Joyce's solicitor said she was using the car as back-up accommodation at the time.

Judge Dempsey responded: "I have no problem with her living in the car, it's the driving around in it that I can't tolerate. What if she knocked people down the next time?

"She has no regard for the law and she has got every opportunity in the past."

On handing Joyce a four-month prison sentence, he said he was not prepared to suspend any part of it.

He also imposed fines of €200 for having no licence and giving gardai a false name.

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