Disqualified driver caught driving without insurance

A DISQUALIFIED driver caught on the road without insurance said it was an emergency because he got a call to say his child had fallen and hit her head.

Joe Doherty, aged 41, said he was given a doctor’s letter stating that the child was concussed, but he could not bring it to court because it was thrown out in a clean out of his house.

Blanch Courthouse 4

Blanchardstown District Court

Judge David McHugh said he would not accept the explanation unless he saw it “in black and white” and adjourned the case for another letter to be produced.

Doherty, with an address at Cherrywood Grove, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to driving without a licence or insurance.

Blanchardstown District Court heard gardai on patrol stopped Doherty at Ninth Lock Road, Clondalkin at 5.32pm on September 12, 2019.

They had seen him proceed through a red light and demanded his documents. He had no valid licence and on making enquiries, gardai established that the accused was a disqualified driver.

He was arrested and charged.

The court heard three months earlier, Doherty was fined and banned from driving for six months for a road traffic offence.

On the day he was caught without insurance, Doherty had got a call from his childminder that his three-year-old daughter had fallen, hit her head, his solicitor William Cadogan said.

He was given a doctor’s letter to show his daughter had been concussed, but the letter was not in court.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan said she did not know anything about the reason the accused was driving.

Judge McHugh said the defence was saying the offence was committed “in extremis” as there was an emergency, and asked if the accused had lost the letter.

Mr Cadogan said it had been thrown out in a clean out of the house.

“The dog ate it,” Judge McHugh said.

The judge said he would not accept the reason given “unless I see it in black and white.” He adjourned the case to October 15 for production of the doctor’s letter.

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