Belfast Telegraph

Banned motorist who killed young mum avoids jail after he’s caught drink driving

Nicola Kenny died a day after the birth of her only child
Nicola Kenny died a day after the birth of her only child

By Conor Neeson

A Co Armagh man serving a five-year driving ban for causing the death of a young mother who had given birth the previous day has been caught drink driving.

Ciaran McBride, of Listrakelt Road, Derrynoose, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance and driving with excess alcohol at Armagh Magistrates Court yesterday.

The offences occurred on the Derrynoose Road in Keady on February 11.

The 33-year-old's solicitor told the court the defendant's "mental health deteriorated" following the incident and that he had become "dependent on alcohol".

Upon reading the pre-sentence report, prepared by probation, District Judge Brian Archer stated: "This man was involved in a very serious road traffic incident in the Republic of Ireland that resulted in a fatality.

"Three years later, he is drink driving with a reading of 87mg of alcohol in breath."

McBride caused the death of Tipperary woman, Nicola Kenny (26), on September 5, 2016, just a day after the birth of her only child, Lily Rose.

As well as the five-year ban, the Armagh man was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay €10,000 in compensation to Ms Kenny's parents.

Speaking in court yesterday, defence solicitor Chris Rafferty said: "In relation to the offence in the Republic of Ireland, Mr McBride instructs that since then, his mental health has deteriorated and he has become dependant on alcohol."

Judge Archer retorted: "That's even more of a reason for him not to be behind the wheel of a vehicle."

Mr Rafferty stated: "This is a detailed report and probation have recommended an enhanced combination order.

"This is a man with an appalling record regarding the offences in the south and he is on his last legs."

Judge Archer told McBride: "I could very well have sent you to prison for driving whilst disqualified given your record."

The defendant was sentenced to a combination order consisting of 75 hours of community service and two years on probation. In addition, McBride was handed a 30-month driving disqualification.

Judge Archer warned the defendant: "If you commit any further motoring offences, you will be going to prison."

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