Twice jailed fine dodger gets bail

A woman with nearly 100 outstanding parking fines who has been imprisoned twice on the issue, was remanded on continuing bail this week in Athlone (March 4 ) to re-appear in Mullingar next week.

Denise Crichton (34 ) from Tower View, Mullingar was appearing in the District Court in Athlone on foot of a bench warrant issued last week after her failure to turn up in court to answer the multitude of charges.

Garda Paul Deeley told the court how Crichton had been arrested outside the station in Mullingar that morning by arrangement, before being taken to the first available hearing in the district.

He explained to Judge Seamus Hughes how Crichton had a “large number of outstanding parking fines, and hasn’t paid any of them”.

Now recognising the case as one he had previously dealt with from the Mullingar bench, the judge declared: “I’m taking a very dim view of this”, before explaining the importance of this income stream to a hard-pressed local authority in these straitened times.

“It’s nearly 100 parking fines,” said the judge.

Crichton’s solicitor on the day, Mr Paul Connellan, agreed the amount was “excessive”, but told the court that his client’s partner “does a lot of gambling and brings her car into town”.

“Can I give you some advice? Go and see Ms McCarthy in NJ Downes [solicitors] and star to settle this,” said the judge.

Crichton told the judge that she had already been to Mountjoy prison on two occasions over this matter, but claimed she has made an agreement with Westmeath County Council to pay off this debt.

“Don’t be afraid to come to court,” said the judge, before remanding her on her own bail of €100 to appear again before him in Mullingar on March 13.


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