Saturday 25 May 2019

Banned driver said he took the wheel after girlfriend got sick

Paul Whelan, of Lissadel Drive, Drimnagh, admitted driving without insurance or a licence.
Paul Whelan, of Lissadel Drive, Drimnagh, admitted driving without insurance or a licence.
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A BANNED driver claimed he took over at the wheel after his partner became ill and stopped in an unsafe place on the hard shoulder.

Paul Whelan (30) said he anticipated an accident if he did not park his girlfriend’s car.

Judge Paula Murphy fined him €700, disqualified him from driving for 10 years and imposed a five-month sentence suspended for 12 months.

Whelan, of Lissadel Drive, Drimnagh, admitted driving without insurance or a licence.

Gda Paul Doona told Blanchardstown District Court he stopped the defendant driving a 2007-registered BMW at Blanchardstown Road North last July 26.

Whelan told Gda Doona he would produce his documents at Finglas Garda Station, but he was disqualified at the time.

The court heard Whelan had 28 previous convictions, including three for uninsured driving, and he had received a driving ban last June.

Defence solicitor John O’Doherty said Whelan realised he was in a “very precarious position”, although he added that a number of his convictions date back several years.

Mr O’Doherty said Whelan had been with his partner on the M50 when she started being sick and had pulled on to the hard shoulder at Blanchardstown.

Whelan transferred his partner to the passenger seat and then moved the car a short distance to a safe location.

Gda Doona was just up the road and stopped Whelan, the court heard.

Mr O’Doherty said the defendant, a father-of-one, had been working cutting hedges and was due to start a job in construction.

In his evidence, Whelan said he and his partner had been out for a meal, and on their way home she was sick.

He added that she stopped on the hard shoulder, but it was unsafe and he was afraid of causing an accident, so he moved the car a short distance to a safer spot.

Judge Murphy said Whelan had shown “wanton disregard for road traffic legislation”, and noted that the incident took place a month after he received a driving ban.

Herald

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News