No licence or insurance when stopped

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A 23-year-old man caught driving without having insurance in the Banbridge area was given a suspended prison sentence last Thursday at the local magistrates’ court.

Jake O’Brien, whose address was given as Lurgantarry, Lurgan admitted not having a driving licence or insurance for a vehicle in Limewood, Banbridge on December 11 last year when he appeared at Banbridge Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Newry.

For the insurance offence he was fined £150, sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years, and was also banned from driving for two years.

A £150 and a concurrent two year ban were imposed on the charge of not having a licence.

The court heard that when stopped by police O’Brien told officers that he did have insurance but did not have it with him.

He produced insurance but this did not cover him.

The defendant was unable to produce his licence.

A barrister representing O’Brien said he had an unenviable record and in August this year a custodial sentence for the defen dant was confirmed at Craigavon County Court.

He added that this was his client’s first time in custody and it had been a salutary lesson for him.

The barrister said that O’Brien was disqualified from driving until September of next year.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said the defendant had an appalling record with six convictions for not having insurance.

“If you persist with this you will go to prison,” he told O’Brien.