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Recording of court proceedings makes judge suspicious

Woman’s friend records court proceedings, arouses judge’s suspicions

A woman was described as acting inappropriately in court and having a ‘hidden agenda’ at last week’s sitting of Ballina District Court.
Amanda Whelan, Laurel Lodge, Manorhamilton, Leitrim, who appeared in relation to an unpaid fixed-charge penalty notice arising out of her having no tax on her vehicle on April 25 last. She insisted she could not afford to pay for tax on the vehicle. After Judge Devins enquired how much her  vehicle was worth she stated that it was worth in the region of €20,000.
When Judge Devins allowed a request from Ms Whelan to take the stand in relation to the offence, Ms Whelan began reading aloud from a prepared statement. Judge Devins immediately interrupted her and stated, “I don’t know where you think you are but you can speak in a normal fashion, this is not some form of public gallery.”
Judge Devins also stated that Ms Whelan, who was representing herself, seemed to be very fond of the microphone, and reminded her that she was appearing in relation to a minor offence.
While Ms Whelan was addressing the court Inspector Joe Doherty noticed an individual at the back of the court acting in a suspicious manner. He immediately informed Judge Devins that a man appeared to be recording proceedings.
Judge Devins directed that the court rise for a number of minutes. When the court resumed, Ms Whelan informed Judge Devins that the man who had the recorder was a friend of hers named Dave Butler.
Judge Devins reiterated her belief that Ms Whelan had a ‘hidden agenda’ and had some form of ulterior motive. She convicted and fined Whelan €100 for having no tax and also fined her €50 for non-display of tax.