Judge says prosecution ‘completely unnecessary’

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A judge has said that a decision to prosecute a man with a clean driving licence and no convictions for having no insurance was ‘completely unnecessary’.

District Judge Des Perry made the comment as 46-year-old Michael Garnon appeared at the local magistrates court.

Garnon, of Ardanlee, Ballynagard, pleaded guilty to having no insurance on August 29, last year.

The court heard Garnon was driving his daughters car to a local mechanic when he was stopped and found to have no insurance to drive the vehicle.

Defence solicitor Jack Quigley told the court his client works part time as a driver for Western Urgent Care but the conviction will not have an impact on his job.

He added that Garnon has no criminal record, no penalty points on his licence and has been driving for 29 years.

Judge Perry said ‘this positively sickens me’ adding it was not in the public interest to prosecute Garnon.

He said violent offenders are often offered a caution but ‘this man makes one mistake and he gets nothing’.

The judge said the decision to prosecute the 46-year-old was ‘completely unnecessary and it could have been dealt with in another way’.

He imposed six penalty points and said he was ‘tempted to impose a derisory fine but I did that before and it got me into all sorts of trouble’

The judge gave Garnon an absolute discharge.