Driver with 326 convictions put off road for 25 years

By Brendan Grehan

A DRIVER with 326 previous convictions was jailed for four months for drunken driving and put off the road for 25 years by Blanchardstown Court.

Judge David McHugh ordered that James Connors serve the four months at the end of his current two-year sentence.

Blanch Courthouse 3 small

Hearing the number of Connors’ previous convictions, Judge David McHugh said: “It would appear to be a record of some type or kind, I would imagine.”

Sergeant Maria Callaghan told the court that at 1.05am on June 14, 2017, the gardai responded to a report that a man was highly intoxicated in the car park of Aldi at Newlands Cross.

When the gardai arrived they saw Connors turning the key in the ignition of his car and he had an open bottle of beer in the car beside him.

Sgt Callaghan said Connors then got into his car and drove off at speed onto Fonthill Road causing other drivers to take evasive action before breaking a red light at Boot Road.

She said Connors was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and remained aggressive and abusive throughout the period of his detention.

Sgt Callaghan said Connors’ urine/alcohol level was 235mg/100ml.

On April 5, 2017, Connors was stopped in the car park of the Maldron Hotel at Newlands Cross.

Sgt Callaghan said Connors gave a false name and address and was arrested.

Connors, aged 60, with an address at  The Avenue, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to drunken driving, dangerous driving and no insurance at the Aldi Car park, Newlands Cross, Clondalkin, on June 14, 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to having no insurance at the Maldron Hotel car park, Newlands Cross, on April 5, 2017.

Sgt Callaghan said Connors had 326 previous convictions and he is currently serving a two-year sentence for burglary from Dublin Circuit Court on December 13 last.

She said she had checked Connors previous convictions back to 2014 and had 23 for no insurance.

Judge McHugh said: “It would appear to be a record of some type or kind, I would imagine.”

Connors’ counsel Jennifer Jackson BL  said the convictions were mainly for road traffic offences.

She said Connors had been homeless at the time of the incidents and is a chronic alcoholic.

He added that Connors is a father of 15 children and said that his son had committed suicide last year.

She said Connors had been living in his car at the time.

Judge McHugh told Ms Jackson: “He was very intoxicated and he was engaged in dangerous driving, but for fate It could have been an awful lot more serious.”

Sgt Callaghan said Connors was due for release on May 16, 2019.

Judge McHugh sentenced Connors to four month jail consecutive on the sentence he is currently serving with a six-year road ban for the no insurance. 

He also fined him €200 with a two-year ban for the dangerous driving, €500 with a 20 year ban for the first no insurance and €500 with a 25 year ban for the second dangerous driving.

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