St Albans woman convicted of 20 driving offences escapes prison, but only just

St Albans Magistrates Court

St Albans Magistrates Court - Credit: Archant

A 30-year-old woman charged with 20 driving offences escaped prison ‘by a hair’s breadth’ after appearing at St Albans Magistrates’ on Friday (18).

Patricia Cassidy, of Abbots Park, St Albans, pleaded guilty to nine counts of driving while disqualified, one count of failing to stop after a road accident, nine counts of driving without third party insurance and one count of driving without due care and attention between June and September this year.

Defending, Andrew Hobdell, of Lawtons Solicitors, argued that Cassidy, a mother to three young children, was unaware that she had been disqualified from driving and had had a traumatic year.

He said: “She’s shown remorse for her actions and we can see this year has not been the best year for her,” also making reference to her brother’s unexpected death.

He added: “This year has been a complete mess and she’s trying to do the best she can...this is a lady, a woman, and a mother who is very remorseful, there’s no need for her to go to prison.”

She was handed a 16 week sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work, given a three year driving ban

- and some stern words.

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Magistrate, Mrs A Tadiello, told an emotional Cassidy: “You have escaped walking down those steps by a hair’s breadth. Today you will not hear the jangle of the jailor’s keys, but you should know the seriousness of the crimes you committed. You are a very, very lucky lady.”