Friday 28 April 2017

Mum sped through checkpoint with customs officer on bonnet

Greg Harkin

A MOTHER of three drove a UK-registered BMW for 20 metres with a customs officer on the bonnet, before telling him: "Get the f*** off my car."

One of Caroline Duggan's children was in the back of her BMW 5 series car at the time, Letterkenny District Court heard.

Ms Duggan (33), from Hawthorn Hill, Newtowncunningham, was warned by a judge that she would lose her driving licence if she appeared before him again.

On October 21, 2011, Ms Duggan was asked to stop by customs officials in her home village after she was spotted driving the Northern-registered car. She failed to do so, swerving by a school bus and three parked cars as she drove on.

At a second customs checkpoint she was confronted by another officer, who also asked her to stop.

She failed to stop for a second time, and the officer ended up on her bonnet, with Duggan shouting at him: "Get the f*** off my car."

Two days earlier, Duggan told custom officers her name was "Caroline Martin" with an address at Killea Road, Derry, after she had been stopped.

Kieran Dillon, defending, said his client had been taking the children to school that morning and was "frightened out of her wits" by the incident.

"She has been suffering from deep anxiety as a result of her actions. She deeply regrets what she allowed herself to do on the day in question," Mr Dillon added.

Judge Paul Kelly said: "This was entirely self-inflicted.

"It is widely known, particularly in this part of the country, that you are not permitted to drive a UK-registered vehicle and that's what has given rise to this incident."

The court heard that Duggan had completed a four-week driver behaviour course.

Fining her €350 for careless driving, Judge Kelly said: "She has hopefully learned from this experience and she had better implement everything she has learned on this course or she will be put off the road."

Irish Independent

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