Woman drove with officer on bonnet

Fri, Jan 18, 2013, 00:00

A woman drove almost 20 metres with a customs officer clinging to the bonnet of her car with her child in the back after failing to stop at a checkpoint, a court was told.

Caroline Duggan overtook a school bus and several cars on a continuous white line while trying to avoid an initial checkpoint. The Co Donegal woman was then waved down by another customs officer while driving her illegally-registered BMW in October 2011.

Duggan, 33, of Hawthorn Hill in Manorcunningham, then drove at speed at the checkpoint to try and avoid it. One of the officers was pushed onto the bonnet and Mrs Duggan roared at him to “get the f*** off my car”. She refused to get out of the Northern-Ireland registered 5 series BMW car.

Mrs Duggan appeared for sentencing at Letterkenny District Court yesterday after being found guilty of motoring offences. Judge Paul Kelly had told an earlier sitting of Letterkenny District Court he could think of few things more dangerous than someone driving at speed at another person. He sent Ms Duggan on a four-week driving course and adjourned the case until yesterday.

At yesterday’s hearing Judge Kelly said: “This was entirely self-inflicted. It is widely known, particularly in this part of the country, if you are not permitted to drive a UK-registered vehicle and that’s what has given rise to this incident. Thankfully the Customs officer involved was not injured.”

He fined her €350 for careless driving. The judge said: “This is the most extraordinary case. She has hopefully learned from this experience and she had better implement everything she has learned on this course or she will be put off the road.”