Fraudster Catriona Carey to contest driving ban in full
28th October 2022
Fraudster Catriona Carey will now contest her driving ban in full after initially pleading guilty to four road traffic offences including driving without a licence or insurance.
Carey, of Weir View Hill, Co Kilkenny, was banned from driving for four years and received a suspended sentence in May.
She appealed the decision and was due to appear in Kilkenny Circuit Court today
State solicitor Gerald Meaney had asked for the matter to be put back until later in the day as he understood that Carey was due to attend and her counsel needed to travel from another court case in Dublin.
However, Mr Meaney later told the court that he had received instructions from defence solicitor Andrew Broderick that his client intended to now contest the appeal in full and needed time to prepare a case.
Mr Meaney indicated that he understood the appeal was standard in nature relating to the severity of the ban, but it was now Carey’s case that she wanted to proceed with a full appeal of her conviction.
“Up until an hour ago it was the understanding these appeals were as normal,” Mr Meaney told Judge Kenneth Connolly.
“She has a solicitor and his counsel was at the Criminal Courts of Justice and was due to travel down, but when I spoke to him again he said she wants to contest the matter fully.
“I was certainly surprised as there was no indication of this previously.”
Carey, who has been allowed to continue driving while awaiting the outcome of her appeal, was not present in court.
Judge Kenneth Connolly adjourned the matter until January to allow the defence time to put together a case.
The former Kilkenny camogie player came to the attention of gardaí last year for driving offences and received 12 penalty points for speeding in a 50kmh zone, speeding in a 120kmh zone while twice she was caught driving while holding a mobile phone.
She received a six-month disqualification from November 8, 2021 until May 8 2022.
However, she was stopped by gardaí on two occasions for motoring offences while the disqualification was active.
Garda Julie Chapman gave evidence in Kilkenny District Court that she stopped the defendant travelling along the Castlecomer Road in the county on November 21, 2021.
Gda Chapman said Carey was driving 70kmph in a 50kmph zone and that, when stopped, only had a picture of her driving licence on her phone.
It was discovered that she was banned from driving and when informed of this Catriona Carey “disagreed” and started “roaring and screaming”.
Gda Chapman said the defendant was “totally out of control” and said there “was no talking to her”.
Her barrister, Kevin Roche BL, said there was a “certain confusion” about the penalty points which led to her disqualification.
Garda Thomas Loughnane informed the court that he stopped Catriona Carey driving her BMW on the Castlecomer Road on December 10 last year.
Gda Loughnane said he was aware that Carey had been disqualified from driving and informed her of this.
Carey told the garda “This is my car”, that she felt she was being picked on, and added: “Do you expect me to get taxis?”.
Judge Geraldine Carthy took into consideration Carey’s apology and guilty plea, but said it was difficult to offer an excuse when she was stopped a month later after getting into a car “knowing full well she’s disqualified”.
The court heard how Carey had previous convictions.
She was convicted of fraud in February 2020 after altering a cheque she received from a client who had hired her as his accountant.
Carey changed a cheque for €6,948 which had been made out to Revenue’s collector general, instead making it payable to herself, and cashed it at a bank in Kilkenny.
She received an eight-months suspended sentence.
Carey, who has been seen driving a silver jeep as the €55,000 white BMW she owns, which she bought with funds lodged to the account of her company Careysfort Asset Estates, remains impounded after gardaí seized it earlier this year.
More than €200,000 in client funds deposited by desperate homeowners to the Careysfort account was spent on personal items and services, including the Series 5 BMW.
Carey received thousands of euro from people across the country through a mortgage scheme that offered to buy debt from their lenders at a discount once they paid her a deposit.
RTÉ Investigates exposed how the deals never happened and the deposits were not returned.
She has since admitted that this money is “gone and not recoverable”.
Garda investigations into the allegations of fraud are ongoing.