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Judge dismissive of insurance ‘oversight’ claim in age of smartphones and online banking

Court told policy had cancelled due to missed payment

A judge has said she cannot see how a man born in the technological age of smartphones and online banking could fail to see his insurance payment had not been made.

The comment was directed towards Aaron Lavery, who pleaded guilty to driving without insurance at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how the 30-year-old, of Garvaghy Park, Portadown was caught by police on April 30 driving a Toyota Auris for which he was not insured.

Defence solicitor Suin Downey said: “This has been an oversight, as it was a missed payment that he wasn’t aware of.”

She said the Portadown man had now rectified the situation and the vehicle was now fully insured.

The policy had been cancelled after a direct debit failed due to insufficient funds, it was pointed out.

But District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “This is the technological age group which Mr Lavery grew up, the IT age of smartphones. Now all bank accounts are online.”

She remarked if people of her own age can check their accounts so could he, adding there was no excuse.

The court was told that the defendant had a three-year-old child who was about to start nursery and another child on the way.

Ms Downey said Lavery’s licence was vital to his family.

District Judge Kelly pointed out: “He knew all of this when he failed to check his bank account.”

Lavery was handed a four-week disqualification and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.

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