Self-confessed appalling driver jailed for motoring offences


A self-confessed disqualified driver with a truly appalling record, who pleaded guilty to a total of eight charges, has been sentenced to four years.

Prosecutor David McClean told Belfast Crown Court the offences all took place in November 2014 and culminated with the arrest of Joseph Patrick Collins in west Belfast after he had side-swiped another car in a stolen Ford Kuga.

Defence lawyer Joel Lindsay admitted that the offending behaviour of 45-year-old Collins of Ardcaoin Green, Dunmurry, Poleglass, just goes on and on, and that Collins himself was depressed that it had gone on for so long.

Mr Lindsay said Collins also accepted he had an awful record, and was a menace to society, but was making an effort to reform, and now needed a sentence from the court that would leave him some hope for the future.

Ordering that he serve two years custody, followed by two on licence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC told Collins he had a truly appalling record and that his behaviour that night was inexcusable.

Judge Kerr added that Collins was an adult offender, with multiple convictions, including 16 for driving while disqualified.

However, while he was considered a high risk of reoffending, surprisingly he was not considered as presenting a risk of serious harm to others.