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Armagh man with 94 previous convictions to appeal against jail sentence for driving offences

'I believe there is a high likelihood that you will re-offend and the only way to prevent you being on the road is a period of immediate custody'

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man with 94 previous convictions who was caught driving whilst disqualified has been sentenced to four months in prison.

The district judge said that the only way to ensure the 36-year-old stayed off the road was a period of immediate custody.

Sean Francis Morton, of Culdee Drive, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance and taking a vehicle without authority at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

It was heard that on May 23, at around 3pm, police stopped a Volkswagen Borra on the Gosford Road, Markethill, which had one male driver.

Checks revealed that the car was insured for a female only.

Officers spoke to the male, who identified himself as the defendant, and he admitted to being a disqualified driver.

Morton told police the vehicle belonged to his partner and that he did not have her permission to take it.

The defendant was subsequently arrested and during interview made full admissions.

Officers spoke to the owner of the car who said that she had been sleeping at the time of the offence and had not given Morton permission to drive the vehicle.

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated: “It is safe to say this man has a very significant record which ended in him recently being subjected to, at around Christmas time. a significant prison sentence which was appealed.

“I ask the court to extend this man some sympathy.”

Deputy District Judge Peter King said: “Mr Morton, I have your record here in front of me. There are 94 previous convictions, you were disqualified in 2018 with the headline charge being drink driving.

“I believe there is a high likelihood that you will re-offend and the only way to prevent you being on the road is a period of immediate custody.”

Morton was sentenced to four months in prison and disqualified from driving for four years.

Mr Lannon made it known that the defendant wished to appeal this sentence and he was released pending this on his own bail of £500.

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