Tears shed by a woman who insisted she did not handle a cell phone while driving failed to persuade Judge Alice Doyle to withdraw her conviction for the offense.
However, Donna Tinney of 21 Marlfield, Enniscorthy, saw the fine imposed by the district court reduced to â¬ 50 by the Circuit Court.
The case was initiated by Garda Cathal Burke who was on duty at Cathedral Street in Enniscorthy on December 1 last year.
He told the Circuit Court appeal hearing that he observed Ms Tinney driving a black Volkswagen Golf registered in 2007.
He remembered seeing her holding a black phone while driving before following her through town and onto the Slaney.
When he caught up with her, the accused motorist denied that she was holding a phone in her hand.
She showed him a child’s toy but the guard was adamant it was certainly not the object he had seen in Cathedral Street.
In court, Ms Tinney continued to insist that she did not have the phone in hand.
She revealed she was driving home from Lidl on the day in question and suggested the phone was buried under her purchases.
What the guard had seen must have been her electronic cigarette, she argued, growing more and more emotional as the proceedings continued.
âI know what an electronic cigarette looks like,â Garda Burke replied.
Ms Tinney, who described herself as a single mother with two children, said she was pregnant at the time.
Judge Doyle upheld the conviction but set a reduced fine.