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Armagh man repeatedly ‘defying the law’ banned for two years

An Armagh man banned from driving for two years after repeatedly “defying the law”, a court has heard.

Paul McPhilips, 44, of Banbrook Hill, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday charged with driving whilst disqualified, having no insurance, tax or MOT.

The incident occurred at around 9.30am, on December 4, last year, when the defendant’s Ford Fiesta was flagged by police as having no insurance whilst driving in the Dobbin Street Lane area.

Police followed the defendant into a car park and when approached he admitted to no insurance, vehicle tax, MOT or licence.

When interviewed at Armagh custody suite, McPhilips stated he had only had the car a few weeks but said “he was getting it sorted”.

The court heard that the defendant told police that he thought his driving ban had expired.

District Judge Paul Copeland ascertained that McPhilips had received a three-year ban in 2015 for driving whilst disqualified, which was active until October of this year.

Defence counsel stated that the defendant had been on his way to his GP when stopped by police.

This was challenged by Judge Copeland who said “that’s not what he told probation”, commenting that there was a “lack of consistency in the defendant’s stories”.

Judge Copeland told the court that the defendant was a “constant repeat offender”, adding he “stopped counting at 12 convictions”.

McPhilips was banned from driving for two years, sentenced to nine months suspended for two years and fined £100, along with the £15 offender’s levy.

Judge Copeland concluded that the defendant “had no business driving and his multiple medical problems (cited by the defence) were not an excuse”.

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