Serial motoring offender Kevin Cassidy banned for 10 years wins licence back after appeal
A Belfast man with more than 130 motoring offences and who was banned from driving for a decade in 2012 had his licence restored yesterday after launching a successful court application.
Kevin Cassidy, who was released from prison last October after serving a "substantive" sentence, was disqualified from driving for 10 years at Belfast Crown Court.
He appeared before the same court yesterday where he told Judge Paul Ramsey that he had been offered employment on the grounds that he possessed a driving licence.
The father-of-three, from New Farm Lane in the north of the city, was called to the witness box by his barrister Steven Keown.
When Mr Cassidy was asked what he had been doing in the nine months since his release from prison, the 42-year-old said: "Actively seeking employment and looking after my family."
Confirming that he completed a number of courses in prison - including victim awareness, drugs awareness and cognitive thinking - Mr Cassidy told the court he was currently living with his ill father.
When Mr Keown asked how he coped with the "day-to-day requirements" of caring for this father, Mr Cassidy said he had to rely on taxis and buses in order to look after his father's daily needs.
Addressing his client and citing his criminal record as "extensive", when Mr Keown asked: "Since your release from prison nine months ago, have you been in any trouble with the police?" Mr Cassidy replied: "No."
He also replied no when asked if he has had any dealings with police since October of last year.
When asked what steps he has taken to seek work, Mr Cassidy replied: "Basically anything, but a lot require you to have a driving licence, such as delivery jobs. There's a guy who's willing to give me a job if I have a licence."
He also said that while he can't change his past, he was now doing all he could to change the course of his future.
Mr Keown ended his application by telling the court that Mr Cassidy was eligible to seek restoration of his licence as over half the time period for the ban had now been served.
However, a Crown barrister said while this was technically true as six years of the disqualification had lapsed, there had only been a nine-month period that Mr Cassidy "has the physical possibility of driving".
The barrister said this was not a sufficient period of time to determine whether Mr Cassidy had adhered to the driving ban.
Expressing police concerns due to his "extensive" offending, the Crown barrister said the 134-strong criminal record "speaks for itself".
Judge Ramsey said he had read a statement from Mr Cassidy's potential employer and took into account both the offences that led to the ban and the fact he had not reoffended in the nine months since release.
The judge said he was "on balance" granting the application to restore Mr Cassidy's licence to enable him to work.