Wednesday 12 December 2018

Judge describes woman's humanist marriage as 'for the fairies' as mum-of-nine jailed for no insurance

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Gordon Deegan

A judge has described a Co Clare woman’s humanist marriage as "mumbo jumbo" and "for the fairies" stating that she didn't get married at all four years ago.

At Killaloe District Court on Tuesday, Judge Patrick Durcan made his comment when convicting mother-of-nine, Patricia McLeish (41) of Shanbally, Craughwell, Co Galway of giving a Garda a false name when she was stopped at the side of the road by Det Garda John Jenks on March 6th last at Bridgetown, Co Clare.

Solicitor for Ms McLeish, Jennifer Donovan said that her client now goes by the name of Patricia Fogarty after taking her husband’s Fogarty surname after marrying at a humanist ceremony four years ago.

Ms Donovan said: “She presently goes by the Fogarty name and uses the name of Fogarty but I can’t give you any documentation to show that.”

In reply, Judge Durcan said: “Because basically that is not her name.”

Ms Donovan said that there was no deliberate attempt by her client to mislead Det Jenks on March 6th last when she said that she is Patricia Fogarty.

She said: “It isn’t a name she plucked out of the air. Fogarty is a name she goes by. Her children’s birth certificates have Fogarty on it."

However, Judge Durcan said: “The law provides procedures for entering into marriage which is something that imposes civil responsibility and imposes civil obligations. That is what marriage is and your client wasn’t married four years ago.”

Judge Durcan said: “Let us go by legal principles here - her maiden name is Haskett, her first husband was McLeish - her only husband.”

Ms Donovan said: “She instructed me that she was married in a humanist ceremony four years ago.”

Judge Durcan said that the woman “piles on by telling untruths to Det Garda Jenks and instructs you to come in here with this cock and bull story about being married that is daft and for the fairies”.

Ms Donovan said that her client has a voting card with the name Fogarty on it.

In reply, Judge Durcan said: “Your client has been living in an unreal world.”

Judge Durcan said: “Det Garda Jenks spent a considerable time talking to this driver at the side of the road and she did not come clean despite Det Jenks’s suspicions and she played it out to the very last moment.”

Judge Durcan jailed the mother of nine, with five under the age of nine, for four months and banned her from driving for six years after hearing that Ms McLeish (Fogarty) was driving without insurance and already disqualified on the date - her eighth time to be detected driving without insurance.

Judge Durcan told Ms Donovan: “Your client has treated law of the land and this court with utter contempt and treated Garda Jenks with contempt”.

Det Jenks said that a four year driving ban was imposed on Ms McLeish (Fogarty) in September 2015 for no insurance and she was disqualified when stopped by him in March of this year.

Ms Donovan said that the first driving without insurance conviction dates back to 2005 and there were no issues until 2012.

Ms Donovan said that her client and Mr Fogarty opened up a restaurant business in 2012 which failed and there was no income coming into the house.

Ms Donovan added that her client simply couldn’t afford to purchase insurance.

Ms Donovan said that Mr Fogarty, a chef, was involved in a serious road traffic accident in 2015 and this plunged them back into desperation stakes financially.

Ms Donovan said their situation worsened when their family home was repossessed when they couldn’t keep up with the repayments.

Ms Donovan said: ”She has fallen out with her family when the family home was repossessed. She and her partner tried to buy it back and her brother unfortunately outbid her and bought it out from under them so there is a split there in the family and there is just not help there.”

In response, Judge Durcan said that “what underlines this case is a huge amount of stupidity and arrogance”

In sentencing, Judge Durcan said that an independent surety in the event of an appeal would have to be approved by the court and Ms McLeish (Fogarty) was later led away by gardai to transfer her to Limerick prison to begin her sentence.

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