Sunday 18 March 2018

Uninsured driver 'didn't know' he had 14 penalty points

Paul McDonagh of Swords had his car seized by gardai
Paul McDonagh of Swords had his car seized by gardai

Eimear Cotter

An uninsured driver who had 14 penalty points has been put off the road for four years.

Paul McDonagh (27) claimed he had a valid insurance policy and he didn’t know he had so many penalty points.

Swords District Court heard that McDonagh’s policy of insurance was rendered invalid as he had received 14 penalty points.

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined McDonagh €400 and disqualified him from driving for four years.

The defendant admitted to driving without insurance at Main Street in Swords village on February 8.

Garda Karl McNamara said he was on mobile patrol around 12.15am when he saw the defendant driving a 2006-registered Volkswagen Passat.

Gda McNamara said he was aware McDonagh was disqualified from driving due to penalty points.

The garda stopped McDonagh and asked him to produce his insurance documents, but he failed to do so.

Gda McNamara said the car was then seized.

The court heard that McDonagh, with an address at Boru Court, Forest Road in Swords, has four previous convictions, including a previous no-insurance conviction.

Defence solicitor Fiona D’Arcy said McDonagh had valid insurance, and had also been a named driver on another policy.

However, Ms D’Arcy said McDonagh had 14 penalty points and he had been disqualified from driving.

She said the defendant was unaware he had so many penalty points, as he had moved out of home around this time and had not received a letter informing him he was banned.

Ms D’Arcy also said McDonagh wouldn’t have continued to pay for an insurance policy if he’d known he was banned.

Judge Dempsey expressed his astonishment that McDonagh had not known he had 14 penalty points.

Addressing the court, McDonagh claimed he’d been having problems at home and was “moving around” at the time.

Imposing a four-year driving ban, Judge Dempsey told McDonagh: “You’re disqualified now, you understand that?”

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