A woman who allowed a four-year-old child to sleep unrestrained on the back seat of her car was disqualified from driving for a year in the District Court this week (November 10 ).
The court heard how Kate Connors (24 ), with an address at Kilmucklin, Clara, Co Offaly was stopped by gardai outside Ferbane on April 20, when gardai noticed “the child unrestrained on the back seat of her Kia motor car”.
Connors was not contesting the summons, but had not turned up in court to hear the evidence. Her solicitor, Mr John Keogh, sought leniency as his client and her husband were unemployed.
“How was she driving an ‘08 car, then?” enquired Judge Mary Devins, having noted the registration in the garda’s evidence.
“I’m not instructed on that,” said Mr Keogh.
“My client says she was on her way to Portiuncula Hospital, and the child was asleep in the back. She claims she had put the seatbelt on the child but admits that when she was stopped the child wasn’t wearing it,” said Mr Keogh, before again asking for every chance for his client.
“No. This case is too serious,” said Judge Devins.
“If she had to brake, that child would’ve been fired out through the windscreen. Wouldn’t you agree, Guard?” she asked Garda McGee, the arresting garda in the witness box.
“Yes, judge,” said the garda.
Judge Devins fined Connors €250 and banned her from driving for one year.
On application from Mr Keogh she allowed room for an appeal, and set recognisances at €250.