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Catriona Carey asked gardaí ‘do you expect me to get taxis?’ when stopped over road offences

Caitriona Carey handed four-year driving ban and three-month suspended sentence over road offences

Robin Schiller and Amy Molloy

Convicted fraudster Catriona Carey was "roaring and screaming" and asked gardaí "do you expect me to get taxis?" when stopped for separate road offences last year.

The 44-year-old was today handed a three-month suspended prison term and a four-year road ban after admitting to driving with no licence or insurance twice within a month.

The former Irish hockey international, who is currently embroiled in an alleged mortgage scam, appeared before Kilkenny District Court this morning with her legal team.

The court heard that Carey, of Weir View Hill in Kilkenny, was pleading guilty to four road traffic offences which occurred less than a month apart last year.

Gda Julie Chapman gave evidence that she stopped the defendant travelling along the Castlecomer Road in the county on November 21 last.

The garda said Carey was driving 70kmph in a 50kmph zone and that, when stopped, only had a picture of her driving licence on her phone.

It was discovered that she was banned from driving and when informed of this Catriona Carey "disagreed" and started "roaring and screaming".

Gda Chapman said the defendant was "totally out of control" and said there "was no talking to her".

Catriona Carey leaving Kilkenny District Court (Photo: Mark Condren)

The court was told that Carey's car was subsequently seized. Her barrister, Kevin Roche BL, said there was a "certain confusion" about the penalty points which led to her disqualification.

Gda Thomas Loughnane was then called to give evidence.

He informed the court that he stopped Catriona Carey driving her BMW on the Castlecomer Road on December 10 last.

The garda said he was aware she had been disqualified from driving and informed her of this.

Catriona Carey told the garda "this is my car", that she felt she was being picked on, and added: "do you expect me to get taxis?". Under cross-examination the garda accepted that she had never received a road ban from the courts.

The court heard that she has three previous convictions.

Catriona Carey leaving Kilkenny District Court (Photo: Mark Condren)

Carey was convicted of fraud in February 2020 after altering a cheque she received from a client who had hired her as his accountant. She changed a cheque for €6,948 which had been made out to the Revenue’s collector general, instead making it payable to herself, and cashed it at a bank in Kilkenny.

She received an eight-month suspended sentence.

Mr Roche said his client would like to apologise to the gardaí who dealt with her and that she made efforts to appeal the penalty points received.

He said they were technical offences, and that some people attempt to play ducks and drakes with the courts in relation to such offending but that his client did not attempt do this.

The court heard she is a mother of two boys, aged 10 and 12, and that she was their primary care giver.

Mr Roche said the case had garnered some media attention which was difficult for both Catriona Carey and her children.

Judge Geraldine Carthy said that, in relation to having no insurance or licence in the first incident, she was taking into account the early guilty plea and the apology offered. She fined Catriona Carey €300 and disqualified her from driving for two years.

However, Judge Carthy said it was difficult to offer an excuse when stopped a month later after getting into a car "knowing full well she's disqualified".

She also noted the comment referring to taxis made by Catriona Carey to Gda Loughnane.

In relation to the second instance of driving without a licence or insurance, Judge Carthy sentenced her to three months imprisonment, which was fully suspended for 12 months.

She also disqualified Catriona Carey from driving for four years.

Catriona Carey was then asked to sign a bond before the case was finalised.

Catriona Carey leaving Kilkenny District Court (Photo: Mark Condren)

After court, asked her if she had any comment to make in relation to the conviction, as well as the ongoing garda fraud investigation into her.

She refused to comment, keeping her head down while walking away from court.

She also refused to respond when asked if she had anything to say to the people who have accused her of defrauding them.

Carey has been accused of scamming more than 30 people out of thousands of euros after offering to buy debt from their lenders at a discount.

She runs a company called Careysfort Asset Estates, which is registered in the UK and has been the subject of multiple complaints to gardaí.

RTÉ Investigates reported how around €400,000 from clients of her company was paid into the company account but in February just €488.10 remained.

It was revealed how more than €200,000 deposited by desperate homeowners into a business account controlled by Carey was allegedly spent on personal items and services.

The biggest spend using funds from the company account came on July 21, 2020, for the purchase of a BMW at a cost of €55,226.

Gardaí are investigating a number of alleged fraud incidents relating to the activities of a business owned by the Kilkenny woman.

In March gardaí from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) seized the BMW car from a property in Wexford near Courtown where Carey had been staying.

A week before that, gardaí carried out a search at her home in Kilkenny and seized a number of documents.

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