Belfast Telegraph

Jailed: the serial driving offender who clocked up 576 convictions

By George Jackson

A disqualified driver whom a district judge has described as having the worst record he's ever seen has been jailed for four months.

Judge Barney McElholm made the comment at the Magistrates Court in Londonderry in the case of Mark Convey (35), from Winchester Park in the Waterside area of the city.

Convey came before the court with 576 previous convictions, 519 of them for motoring offences, including 74 for driving while disqualified. The court was told that Convey was stopped by police as he drove home from a bar in Eglinton last December 22.

At the time he was still serving a five-year disqualification period, which was imposed – along with a three-month jail sentence – in 2009 for other motoring offences.

Convey had just over twice the legal alcohol limit in his breath when he was stopped, and he also admitted to the police he didn't have insurance to drive the car.

Jailing the serial driving offender for four months and disqualifying him from driving for five years, Mr McElholm said: "I do not know if I have ever seen a record like this."

Convey was later released on appeal bail of £500. As part of his bail conditions he must not consume alcohol, nor is he allowed to travel in the front seat of any private vehicle.

Convey is the latest serial offender to come to public notice, whose record of offences runs into the hundreds.

His record is so extensive it would equate to almost three convictions a month for his entire life, from the age of 17.

Patrick James Morgan (39) has racked up 227 convictions – an average of one for every month of his adult life. In the convictions he has racked up over two decades, seven are understood to have been for assault, while more than half were motoring offences. He is currently banned from driving.

The Co Derry man's criminal career spans 22 years, with Morgan first coming to the attention of authorities aged 17.

A recent investigation by the Belfast Telegraph unearthed dozens of similar cases, including that of Malvern Dobbin, who is among the worst offenders in the country, with more than 400 convictions.

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