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Turlough woman twice found with toddler unbelted in front seat

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Turlough woman twice found with toddler unbelted in front seat


A bench warrant has been issued for a Turlough woman who was twice charged with having no seat belt around her small child in the front seat of her car.
Sharon Sweeney of 1, Gort na Folla, Turlough, Castlebar, had one of those charges withdrawn at this week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court due to a mistake in the prosecution, but her non-appearance, combined with a series of previous convictions, saw Judge Mary Devins issue a bench warrant for her arrest.
Garda Damien Hennigan told the court that on February 28 last at Moneen, Castlebar, he pulled Sweeney over for driving whilst using a mobile phone.
He then saw that her two-and-a-half-year-old child in the front seat without any restraint.
However, that seat-belt prosecution was withdrawn, as, due to the way the Garda Hennigan had worded the incident record, it appeared as though it was the child who was accused of committing the offence, and not the driver. The charge of driving whilst using a mobile phone still stands.
Garda Friel told the court that Sweeney had 15 previous convictions, including one at Castlerea District Court for allowing a child unrestrained in the front seat of her car. She had received two previous community service orders, in lieu of jail sentences.
Issuing a bench warrant, Judge Mary Devins said Sweeney is ‘most definitely’ facing jail.