'My life was in danger': Judge refuses to accept disqualified motorist's explanation for driving in Cork city

'My life was in danger': Judge refuses to accept disqualified motorist's explanation for driving in Cork city

Defence solicitor Diane Hallahan said the defendant was aware she was at massive risk of jail as a result of her repetition of the same offence.

A YOUNG woman who has repeatedly defied court orders banning her from driving claimed that her life was in danger and that was why she was using her car.

Judge Olann Kelleher said he did not accept the explanation put forward by Chelsea Hurley.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the latest incident of driving by the banned driver was detected on September 27.

Chelsea Hurley of Dunmanus Crescent, Knocknaheeny, Cork, was observed driving from Gurranabraher Road to Blarney Street where she got out of the car and walked away.

She was arrested and conveyed to Gurranabraher garda station.

It turned out that she had been disqualified from driving for six years at the time.

Furthermore it was her seventh time driving without insurance, her fourth time driving while disqualified.

Defence solicitor Diane Hallahan said the defendant was aware she was at massive risk of jail as a result of her repetition of the same offence.

The solicitor called the accused to give evidence on why she was driving on the occasion, telling her client that she was at risk of prison.

Once the accused got into the witness box, Ms Hallahan asked her, “Why did you drive?” She replied, “Because my life was in danger.” 

Ms Hallahan said the defendant had been viciously assaulted in August last year.

Judge Kelleher said, “You are driving again after getting a six-year disqualification. The courts mean nothing to you – seven times driving without insurance.” 

Ms Hallahan asked Chelsea Hurley again, “Were you driving to get away from this person (of whom she was in fear)?” Hurley replied, “Yeah.” 

Judge Kelleher said, “I don’t accept her excuse.” 

The judge imposed a five-month jail term and a new driving disqualification of eight years.

“This is her fourth time being convicted of driving while disqualified, the fourth time she has defied the courts and she comes in looking for mercy then,” he said.

Judge Kelleher set recognisances in the event of an appeal at €750 cash and an independent surety of €750.

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