Ten year driving ban for no insurance

Kenmare defendant also faced assault and public order charges

Sinead Kelleher

A Kenmare man who developed a 'psychotic illness' after voluntarily spending time in jail was on Friday given a suspended sentence and disqualified from driving for 10 years for driving with no insurance on four different occasions.

Andrew Reece with an address at 10 April Drive, Lodge Wood and 34 Cill Mhuire, Kenmare, was also warned by Judge David Waters that he was on his last chance and must be on his best behaviour after also being charged with assault and public order.

The latter charges concern disputes on two separate occasions in 2017 during which Mr Reece is alleged to have punched one victim and produced scissors as a weapon in the course of one of the rows.

Mr Reece came before Kenmare District Court on four charges of driving with no insurance between 2014 and 2015, as well as on assault and public order charges.

On February 11 at Ard Bhearna Estate, Mr Reece drove into the estate to collect his former partner and his son, the court heard. He passed a group hanging around the estate, one of whom shouted at him when he was driving past. On his way out, it is alleged that he swerved at the group and, after alighting his vehicle, became entangled in a scuffle with two of the group during which he punched Ethan Hilliard and produced scissors.

Two days later, on February 13, Mr Reece again met Ethan Hillard who was with his mother and a row ensued during which it is alleged that Mr Reece spat at Tara Hillard.

Arising out of these incidents Mr Reece was charged with using threatening and abusive behaviour, assault and possession of an article during the February 11 incident and using threatening and abusive behaviour and assault during the February 13 incident.

He was, however, given a final chance on these charges after the victims indicated that they didn't want him unduly punished.

Judge David Waters said he was concerned about the production of scissors during the row but added that he would consider giving him a chance "in light of what the victims said".

The court heard that Andrew Reece had previously been before Kenmare District Court on a series of insurance related charges and had at the time voluntarily agreed to go to jail for a number of days, during which he has suffered a breakdown which led to a psychotic illness.

"He was at the deepest depths that you could imagine," said his solicitor, Padraig O'Connell.

At last week's Kenmare District Court, Mr Reece was convicted on four counts of driving with no insurance. The court heard that he already has a previous conviction for no insurance.

On Friday he was convicted and fined €100 for driving with no insurance on April 14, 2014 at Killowen, Kenmare and disqualified for driving for two years. He was also convicted and fined €200 and disqualified from driving for six years on August 13, 2015 at Irk, Molls Gap.

A no insurance charge on November 1, 2015 at Cill Mhuire, Kilmurry, led to a six year disqualification and a €200 fine. A false tax disc for that date also led to €200 fine.

A final no insurance charge on December 31, also at Cill Mhuire, led to a three month suspended sentence and incurred a total disqualification of 10 years for Mr Reece. A false insurance disc on the same date led to a conviction and fine of €300.

Judge Waters warned that Mr Reece was at a "crossroads" and that he would certainly be going to jail if he is caught driving without insurance again.

There would be no adjournment and he would get six months in jail, he added.