A garda has told a court how ‘totally out of control’ Catriona Carey yelled at her after she told her her uninsured car would be seized.
A suspended prison sentence has been handed down to former Irish hockey international Carey for his second offense of driving without a license or insurance.
Ms Carey, 2 Weir View Hill, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, appeared at Kilkenny District Court this morning following a warning in her absence last week that failure to appear would result in the issuance of a an arrest warrant.
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Solicitor Kevin Roche, for Ms Carey, said his client pleaded guilty to all four counts: driving without insurance and without a driving license in Weir View, Kilkenny on December 10, 2021, also driving without insurance and without driving license at Glendine, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny on 21 November 2021.
Garda Chapman told the court that on November 21, 2021, she was performing a garda speed check in Glendine, Kilkenny. At 3:50 p.m., she observed a BMW driving at 70 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. The guard stopped the car and spoke to the driver, Mrs. Carey.
Garda Chapman asked Ms Carey – an accountant who also played camogie for Kilkenny – for her driving licence. She told the garda she didn’t have it on her at the time, but had a picture of it on her phone.
The guard used their mobile device to scan the license and it emerged that Ms Carey had been disqualified from driving and had not surrendered her licence.
Ms Carey was told she was disqualified and did not have a valid license which meant she was not covered by insurance.
The guard informed Mrs. Carey that she was going to seize the car. At this, Mrs Carey shouted for the garda and refused to hand over the keys.
“She was totally out of control,” the guard said.
Mrs. Carey wanted to know how she was going to get her children to school and do the shopping.
The car was seized.
Ms Carey eventually calmed down, the guard told the court.
Garda Loughnane testified that on December 10, 2021, he observed Ms Carey driving at Weir View. He knew at the time that she was disqualified from driving, on penalty points.
The guard arrested Mrs. Carey and informed her that she was disqualified. Ms Carey asked: ‘Are you targeting me?
She asked if she was being harassed and added, “Do you expect me to take taxis?”
He asked for his license and insurance documents.
Mr Roche told the two gardai that Mrs Carey’s guilty pleas were helpful, which they agreed.
He also told the court there had been some confusion over Ms Carey’s last set of penalty points, which prompted her disqualification, and that she had tried to appeal.
Mr Roche said his client had never been banned from driving in court and this was not a case where she had ‘flagrantly disregarded’ a court order.
There have been three previous convictions registered against Ms Carey, including a speeding offense at Carlow District Court in October 2018, and a suspended eight-month prison sentence handed down to her by the District Court from Kilkenny in February 2020 for theft.
Mr Roche said his client had asked him to apologize in court for his previous absence. She had tried to hire a lawyer and mistakenly believed that she would not have to appear if she was represented in court.
Mr Roche said it was a technical matter, but Ms Carey was not ‘playing ducks and drakes’ with the court and pleaded guilty.
Ms Carey, 44, is a mother of two and their primary carer, Mr Roche said. These offenses occurred at the height of the pandemic and Ms Carey had to drive to care for her children.
Mr Roche said his client particularly wanted to apologize to Garda Chapman for the roadside events.
He asked the court to be as lenient as possible.
Judge Geraldine Carthy said she took note of Mr Roche’s apology and mitigation.
For driving without insurance on the November date, Ms Carey was convicted and fined €300. She was also banned from driving for two years.
Judge Carthy said it was ‘very difficult to offer an excuse’ for the second incident, on December 10, when Ms Carey was arrested on November 21 and then got back into the car knowing full well that she was disqualified.
For driving without insurance on the second day, Ms Carey was found guilty and sentenced to three months in prison. This is to be suspended for 12 months provided Ms Carey takes out bail to keep the peace.
She was also banned from driving for four years.
Not having a driver’s license was taken into consideration.
The commitment was fixed in the event of an appeal.
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