26-year-old driver had 52 years of driving bans

Judge Carol Anne Coolican

A 26-year old driver who was brought before the courts after being involved in a crash had previously been put off the road for a total of 52 years.

Newcastle West District court heard that Richard Matthew Cotter of Glenlarhan, Castleisland in County Kerry has 32 previous convictions, including numerous convictions for driving without insurance, motoring offences, fraud, theft, forgery, dangerous driving, and assault.

He pleaded guilty in court to driving without insurance after Gardaí were called to the scene of an accident involving his car and another vehicle on August 8 last year at St Mary’s Road in Newcastle West.

Judge Carol Anne Coolican heard from Inspector Gearoid Thompson that Mr Cotter had numerous previous convictions for road traffic offences and other matters.

Going back to Mr Cotter’s first disqualification in 2017, the Inspector outlined for the court how driving bans of between one and ten years had been imposed on the accused man on ten occasions, on which he was convicted before the courts.

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The accumulation of the driving bans was 52 years, with most of the bans overlapping, having been imposed for offences committed while banned under a previous conviction.

His solicitor, Enda O’Connor, said: “This man’s record is simply atrocious”.

“He was living a life of abandon, but he has had an awakening in Cork prison.”

Mr O’Connor said that Mr Cotter “is doing well and engaging with the services available”.

“The irony is that he is a talented excavator driver and there is work waiting for him in the family business when he gets out of jail.”

Judge Coolican imposed a further jail sentence of four months on Mr Cotter and banned him from driving for fifteen years.