Career criminal will drive 'no matter what'
A 35 year-old man with 93 previous convictions notched up one more when he was spotted by gardai driving while disqualified.
At Mallow court this week, Inspector Tony O'Sullivan described Mark Howell as a "career criminal". He said Mr Howell of 4 The Mews, Ballydaheen, Mallow was observed driving by gardai at Russell Place, Mallow on March 26, 2012. He pleaded guilty the charge.
Insp O'Sullivan told Judge Brian Sheridan that "no matter" what order he gave, Mr Howell would still drive.
Insp O'Sullivan then began to flick through the large file on his desk and said Mr Howell had received a 10 year ban for driving without insurance. In total, he said Mr Howell had 14 previous convictions for no insurance.
"Then there's theft and fraud. He's a career criminal," said Insp O'Sullivan.
Solicitor Michelle O'Mahony said her client was presently out of custody on temporary release. She that under the terms of his temporary release he must co-operate with Cork Alliance and he is now working. She also described his family life as being "quite stable".
"He's anxious to avoid a custodial sentence," said Ms O'Mahony.
Judge Sheridan pointed out that Mr Howell has 93 previous convictions.
Ms O'Mahony said her client had served 11 months in custody and was now out on temporary release.
"I have no time for Mark Howell and I think he's a total chancer," said Judge Sheridan.
He issued a six month custodial sentence suspended for two years.
"I expect Mark Howell will be back," said Judge Sheridan. He also banned him from driving for 10 years.