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Worst of its kind Businessman who drove without insurance for 12th time jailed over 'blatant' defiance of courts

Judge John King jailed Gerard Reilly (39) for 10 months and said he could not ignore the accused's "appalling" previous record and disregard for the law

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A banned driver got behind the wheel without insurance for the 12th time in what a judge said was the worst case of its kind he had seen.

Businessman Gerard Reilly (39) "blatantly" defied court orders when he decided to drive a work van to get to a painting-decorating job after an employee was called away unexpectedly.

Judge John King jailed him for 10 months and said he could not ignore the accused's "appalling" previous record and disregard for the law.

He also banned him from driving for 10 years.

Reilly, a father-of-five of Drumfinn Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to uninsured and unlicenced driving last December 12.

Garda Colm Fox told Blanchardstown District Court he stopped the accused driving on Snugborough Road, Blanchardstown at 1.28pm.

He was banned from driving at the time and the garda arrested him.

Among Reilly's previous convictions were 11 for uninsured driving and eight for having no licence, seven of those while he was disqualified.

He had also been convicted of dangerous driving and other offences and had been banned for 12 years and given prison sentences.

It was accepted Reilly had an "appalling record," his barrister Ciaran MacLoughlin said.

The accused was a self- employed painter-decorator, employing three people. On the day in question, he was in a work van when stopped.

"Ordinarily, one of his staff would be driving, but the member of staff was called away unexpectedly, he had a job on and made a foolish mistake," Mr MacLoughlin said.

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Reilly had issues with drugs in the past but was now clean and sober.

Judge King said he "couldn't possibly" suspend the sentence "given the scale of the offending".

"There is a blatant defiance of court orders, and a blatant disregard of the law," Judge King said, adding that he could not ignore Reilly's 11 previous convictions for uninsured driving.

"It has to be the worst I have seen in my career so far," Judge King said, imposing two consecutive five-month sentences.

Mr MacLoughlin pointed out that the accused had co-operated and pleaded guilty. 

"He's a recidivist, he didn't learn his lesson," the judge said.

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