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fined issued 'Irate' driver who drove off at speed from gardai suffers from agoraphobia, court told

Chloe McAllister has three previous convictions dating back to 2016 for theft, unauthorised carriage in an MPV and possession of drugs

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Balbriggan District Court

Balbriggan District Court

Balbriggan District Court

A learner driver who drove off at speed and continued to drive in a dangerous manner around a carpark went into a “blind panic” when she was stopped by gardaí, a court has heard.

Chloe McAllister, a learner driver, was unaccompanied by a qualified driver when gardaí stopped her on January 11th last in St Peter and Pauls car park, Balbriggan.

When Garda Eoin O’Connor attempted to talk to McAllister she became “irate” and drove off at speed, driving dangerously around the carpark.

The accused eventually came to a stop and when she was informed she was under arrest she became “even more irate”, the court presenter told Balbriggan District Court.

The 24-year-old has three previous convictions dating back to 2016 for theft, unauthorised carriage in an MPV and possession of drugs.

Defence solicitor Fiona D’Arcy said McAllister, with an address at Trimelstown, Hamlet Lane, Balbriggan, suffers from agoraphobia and panic attacks.

On the date in question, she had been out to attend an important appointment about her young twins.

The solicitor said McAllister behaved very inappropriately and was very very sorry for what happened.

“When gardaí stopped her she just went into a blind panic. She knows that her behaviour was appalling and she could have injured someone or herself.”

Ms D’Arcy said the defendant was so traumatised by what happened she hasn’t been able to sleep since and does not intend to ever drive her car again.

She said such is the extent of McAllister’s agoraphobia that it took a substantial amount of support to get her to court.

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Noting that the situation could have been a lot more serious, Judge Dermot Dempsey convicted McAllister at the district court of engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour and fined her €200.

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