A Donegal motorist gave a garda sergeant the incorrect name ‘Pete Doherty’ when he was stopped driving in Cork and it turned out that he had ten previous convictions for driving without insurance and was a disqualified driver.
That was on July 24 at Meenane, Watergrasshill, County Cork, and today at Cork District Court the driver, whose real name is Dean Wells, was sentenced to five months in jail.
Sergeant John McNamara testified that he stopped the motorist in July and asked for his name and he claimed he was Pete Doherty.
It was later established that his correct name was Dean Wells and he was residing at Nutgrove, Ballindangan, Mitchelstown, County Cork.
Sgt. McNamara said today that Wells, 36, had 69 previous convictions. They included four for dangerous driving, ten for driving without insurance, and four for driving stolen cars.
He also had convictions for public order offences, burglary, and fraud.
Defence solicitor, Killian McCarthy, said the accused had been out of trouble since 2016 and was in full-time employment. In fact, his employer was present in court with him today and went surety for him pending an appeal of the jail term.
Mr McCarthy said the defendant got his life back on track four years ago and that his offending predated that period and occurred in Donegal.
The accused man is 36 and from Letterkenny.
“He admits the offences and acknowledges they were completely wrong. He has come to court to own up to his offences. His employer is here to give evidence of his good character. He is a valuable asset to the company where he works,” the solicitor said.
Judge Olann Kelleher said, “This man has ten no insurance convictions.” The judge imposed concurrent five-month jail terms for driving without insurance and while disqualified. He fined him €750 for giving a false name to Sgt. McNamara.
An eight-year driving ban was also imposed on him today. Recognisances in the event of an appeal were set at €850 cash and an independent surety of €850.