A woman has been convicted of driving without due care and attention as she carried her husband in the boot of their car while he led a horse through Athy town.

Heather Josiah, 29, of Ardrew Court, Athy, Co Kildare, admitted the offence before Judge Desmond Zaidan, who was so surprised by the evidence he asked for it to be repeated.

He said the "unusual" incident, which occurred on Fortbarrington St in Athy on 20 March last year, was like something from 1890 rather than 2012.

Gardaí who approached Josiah's Peugeot 406 at the front of a long line of slow traffic were equally surprised to see her husband sitting in the open boot, leading a horse by a rope.

Gardaí then brought the horse to the family home, which Josiah's solicitor Matthew Byrne said was not far away.

He said Josiah, a mother-of-four now expecting her fifth child, is the only driver in the family as her husband is currently off the road.

Judge Zaidan said the situation could have "gone horribly wrong" if one of the queuing drivers had honked their car horn.

Inspector Jim Doyle said drivers were very understanding and happy people in Athy that day.

At Athy District Court, the judge convicted Josiah of the road traffic offence and fined her €400 for driving without due care and attention and a futher €200 for carrying an unrestrained child in the same car on another date.