The 26-year-old mother of four was halfway through a four-year road ban when she was stopped by Sgt David Callanan in Limerick City last year.
The former partner of convicted Limerick criminal Ger Dundon pleaded guilty to nine road traffic offences at Limerick District Court yesterday, including a charge of driving while disqualified.
Earlier this year, she gave evidence in the trial of her ex-partner’s brother John Dundon that ultimately led to him being convicted of the murder of Shane Geoghegan.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said Collins had “flagrantly ignored” previous court orders of disqualification.
In his evidence, Sgt Callanan said he stopped Collins at Hyde Rd, Limerick, at 11.55am on Nov 10, 2012.
Her car tax was out of date and she admitted she had no insurance, and failed to produce the appropriate documentation at Roxboro Garda Station within the required 10-day period.
The court heard Collins had been disqualified from driving for four years in Sept 2010.
Judge O’Kelly was told Collins had a total of three previous convictions for driving while disqualified, nine for driving without insurance, and eight previous convictions for driving with no licence.
Solicitor Sarah Ryan said the State had accepted the duress her client was under when she was stopped in connection with the offences before the court in Jun 2012.
She said on the most recent occasion, in Nov 2012, Collins had her baby in the car with a severe temperature. “Her first instinct was to bring her child to her mother’s house,” said Ms Ryan.
Judge O’Kelly disqualified Collins from driving for 12 years and imposed a six-month suspended sentence. She was also fined €500 for driving without insurance.