The case was heard at Naas District Court earlier today.
A mother of three has been sentenced for six months in jail after she pleaded guilty to a charge of Dangerous Driving in a case that the judge described as insane.
Ana Hoban (36), with an address listed as Ballinaheglish, Roscommon was spotted driving by Gardai on November 10, on the M4 near Newtown driving at high speed in a 07 Volkswagen Passat.
It was after 10pm at night, was raining heavily and hard to see, Gardai said, with the spray. Garda Alwyn Howard caught up with the speeding car which was travelling at 170kph (105mph).
Gardai activated the blue light and she pulled over, although it took 30 seconds for the car to come to a halt, such was the speed. There was a person in the passenger seat, three in the rear seat and, when Gardai searched the car, there were two more men in the boot of the car under some blankets.
Representing her at Naas District Court earlier today, Tuesday, December 19, barrister Willie Hughes said his client was on her way to Dublin with her friends for a Brazilian music night, when a car containing more friends broke down around Kilbeggan. All seven then squeezed into her car.
Ms Hoban has eight previous convictions, including two for theft, assault, driving with a bald tire and two for burglary. She has, in the past, received a two month suspended sentence.
It was, he admitted, “one of the most serious cases” he had ever encountered. He said that his client had no intention of understating the seriousness of the charge and that she didn’t try to “play the system” to postpone the case. She wanted to face it now. She was also, counsel explained, cooperative with Gardai on the night.
Ms Hoban lives 15 miles outside Roscommon town and both she and her husband are unemployed. They have three children, aged 13, 9 and 8. She wasn’t aware that the speed had gone quite so high, he said.
“I could send you to jail,” Judge Desmond Zaidan said “and you will be out in a few months for good behaviour”. He contrasted that, however, to the plight of somebody killed as a result of her driving, whose family would be imprisoned forever.
Although he noted her cooperation with the investigation and her early plea, Judge Zaidan concluded that the aggravating features far outweighed the mitigating circumstances of the case. “My goodness, if something had gone wrong at that speed!” he said. “All because she was going to a function.”
He sentenced her to six months in prison, which, he said, was the maximum for an offence of this nature. He also disqualified her from driving for two years, which is the minimum sentence for an offence of this nature.