Limerick driver with 189 convictions threatened to smash up his own van 

Kilmallock District Court

A County Limerick man who has 189 previous convictions produced a metal pole and threatened to smash up his own van when Gardai tried to seize it.

Before the Kilmallock District Court was Derek Mason (38) of Dromsalty Woods, Cappamore, who, Judge Patricia Harney was told, had 189 previous convictions, most of them for traffic offences.

The court heard that Gardai on patrol noticed Mr Mason’s van being driven in Bruff at 2.30am on October 18 last with no current NCT.

They went to Mr Mason’s house with the intention of seizing the vehicle, after which the accused produced the metal implement and threaten to trash the van.

Inspector Pat Brennan told the court that “a crowd gathered” in the course of the exchange.

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The accused, who pleaded guilty to the charges under the Road Traffic Act, was already under a ten year disqualification from driving on the date in question.

His solicitor, Ted McCarthy, told the court that Mr Mason “is a married man with young children. He feels the need to finance the household and unfortunately does so on occasion by getting behind the wheel.”

Mr McCarthy said Mr Mason came “from a city family of traditional rag and bone merchants”.

Judge Harney fined him €50 for failing to appear in court on a previous occasion, €150 for a public order offence on the night, €500 for driving without insurance, and disqualified him from driving for 15 years.

On other charges, she also disqualified him for ten years for driving without a licence, sentenced him to three months in jail, and gave him a further four months jail and a ten-year disqualification on another driving without insurance charge, the disqualifications to run concurrently.  She also fined him a further €300 on another no insurance and no road tax charge and set bail for an appeal.