A BANDON woman provided numerous false medical certificates outlining that she was suffering from cancer and a bone marrow illness in order to avoid attending court to answer charges under the road traffic act.
Karen Nixon, of Inis Orga, Bandon was told by Judge James McNulty that the offences she committed were, ‘historic, deceitful, and willful’ as he prepared to pass sentence at a sitting of Bandon District Court last week.
With the production of these fake medical certificates Ms Nixon (40) had received numerous adjournments as well as the sympathy of the court.
Judge James McNulty described the false certificates as ‘downright misleading and false’ and said that the court was deceived over and over again.
‘This was a shocking waste of the courts time, Gardaí time and the publics time,’ Judge McNulty said.
‘It is now time to face the music.’
Sgt Brian Harte told the court that Ms Nixon had 37 previous convictions, which ranged from driving with no insurance and with no driving licence to 16 charges of theft related offences including making gain by deception and forgery.
Sgt Harte said that she had been given a six month sentence at Fermoy court in November 2013 for driving without insurance and for driving while disqualified. At the time Ms Nixon was disqualified from driving for four years.
Ms Nixon’s solicitor, Plunkett Taffee, said that his client’s behaviour was ‘bizarre’ given that she did in fact have medical issues when she undertook to supply the court with false certificates.
However, Judge McNulty said that there had been a court ordered psychiatric report which noted that Ms Nixon had no major psychiatric, major depression or addiction illnesses. The judge also said that her actual medical issues ‘were not, in my view life-threatening and certainly did not include cancer, bone marrow or chemotherapy.’
Dealing with what the judge described as the ‘historic’ portion of the charges before Karen Nixon, Judge McNulty sentenced her to five months in jail for driving without insurance in October 2013 and he also disqualified her from driving for 10 years.
For driving without insurance and no licence in December 2013 the judge imposed the same sentence of five months in jail and 10 years disqualified from driving, and then another five months in jail and 10 years disqualification for the same offences on April 25, 2014.
The judge ordered that these sentences be served together.
For providing the court with false and fake medical reports in September and December 2015, February 2016 and May 2017, and once more in January 2018, Judge McNulty imposed a sentence of eight months for these offences, which he said will run after the five-month sentences for the road traffic charges.
In sentencing Karen Nixon for what Judge McNulty said were the ‘willful offences’ of driving while disqualified she received another four sentences of five months each, with the judge adding that these could be served together but only after the eight-month term was served.
However, Judge McNulty said that the eight-month sentence could be suspended if Ms Nixon provided €5000 for the court poor box and he gave her six months to pay this sum.
Speaking on behalf of his client, solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said Ms Nixon would be appealing the sentences.
Mr Taaffe said that her brother, who was with her in court, had €2,500 with him.
Judge McNulty ordered that in the case of an appeal Ms Nixon must provide her own bond of €100 and her brother’s €2,500 as part of an independent surety of €7,500.
The appeal is expected to be heard at a Circuit Court sitting in December.