Disqualified driver pretended to be asleep

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A LURGAN man got into the back seat of a car and pretended to be asleep after he had been seen driving by police, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Thirty eight year old Christopher David Patrick McDonagh, of Bell’s Row Court, Lurgan, admitted driving while disqualified and not having insurance on June 11 this year.

The court heard that at 4.15pm at a roundabout in Craigavon a vehicle was seen to cross the white line.

Police turned to speak to the driver and when they arrived at the car they saw the defendant had got into the back seat. He was lying there pretending to be asleep.

He was arrested and admitted he was a disqualified driver.

A barrister for the defendant said there was little in a pre-sentence report to commend the defendant to the court.

She said there had been a significant gap in his offending and there was some effort to try and turn his life around.

She suggested a suspended sentence to give him an opportunity to move forward as he was not suitable for community service.

District Judge, Mr Alan White, said, in his reckoning, McDonagh had six previous convictions for driving while disqualified. In his view it was an appropriate case for custody.

He sentenced the defendant to four months in prison on each offence and banned him from driving for five years. The defendant was also ordered to pay an offender’s levy of £25.

Later in the court an application was made for bail so that McDonagh could appeal the sentence.

Mr White said the defendant could be released on his own bail of £300 and one surety of £500 to appeal.