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24 Sept 2022

Longford man caught at wheel with no insurance tells court: "My days of driving and fixing cars is over"

Longford Courthouse.

Longford Courthouse

A defendant with a substantial number of previous motoring convictions avoided jail at Longford District Court.

Vincent Johnson (62) of 79 St Mel's Road, Longford was charged with two breaches of the road traffic act. The defendant was charged with driving without a driving licence or insurance on July 3 last at St Mel's Rd, Longford.

Sgt Enda Daly said on the day of the offence Garda Buckley saw a car being driven by the defendant down St Mel's Road with no disks on the windscreen. The officer activated the blue lights, the car stopped and the driver, Mr Johnson, exited the vehicle.

Garda Buckley spoke to the driver who admitted he had no licence or insurance and was disqualified for 10 years.

Judge Bernadette Owens was told the defendant has 35 previous convictions many of which were for road traffic offences.
Solicitor Brid Mimnagh said although her client has many convictions for driving without insurance or licence “his driving days are over”.

Ms Mimnagh handed in a medical report and said Mr Johnson also hoped his “prison terms” are over.

The solicitor said the defendant is in poor health and had major surgery and is now awaiting a second operation.

The legal representative explained how on the day Johnson was selling the engine of the car and it has “spluttered through town” as he bought it to where he was working on it.

“You will not see him in court again,” Ms Mimnagh assured the judge, adding that her client is no longer able to drive because of medical issues.

The defendant took to the witness box to give an undertaking he would not drive again: “I'm not able to drive any more. I'm in bad health and my days of driving and fixing cars is over.”

Under cross examination by Sgt Daly the defendant maintained he was unable to drive any more. Sgt Daly asked: “If you are stopped again.”

“I am willing to go to jail, but I won't be stopped,” Mr Johnson replied.

Judge Owens said given the defendant health conditions she would give him a chance, but added: “If you come before me again you will be going into custody.”

The judge directed the defendant enter a bond of €250 and imposed a disqualification from driving for 15 years.

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