Mechanics ‘think they are Lewis Hamilton’

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A judge has asked why it was a trait for motor mechanics to drive as if they were ‘Northern Ireland’s answer to Lewis Hamilton’.

She made the comment during the case of a 19-year-old man who undertook a police car before overtaking another car on the A1 dual carriageway near Banbridge.

Kaynor Beckett, Moira Road, Glenavy, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on September 5 this year when he appeared last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was fined £350, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and given three points.

The court heard that at 10pm on the A1 dual carriageway near Banbridge a police patrol in an unmarked car was travelling in the outside lane.

A car, driven by the defendant, passed them in the inside lane and then moved into the outside lane to pass another vehicle. When police stopped and spoke to Beckett he was asked to describe his manoeuvre and he said it was careless.

A solicitor representing the defendant said when he was stopped at the Rathfriland exit he told police: “I’m sorry for my stupidity. I’ve done wrong.”

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said the manoeuvre was ‘the height of bad manners’ and she could not understand the trait in motor mechanics who drive ‘like they are Northern Ireland’s answer to Lewis Hamilton’. She added: “It was an exceptionally cheeky manoeuvre.”

The judge also pointed out he had a previous caution for careless driving and he had not learned from that.

The defendant’s solicitor said he was a mechanic and was certainly ‘riding his luck’.

He explained Beckett already had six points on his licence, three for a bald tyre and three for speeding.

The solicitor asked the court to give his client one last chance and impose points.

Judge Kelly told the defendant he was looking at a career as motor mechanic and here he was ‘driving like an eejit’ in what was a ‘very nasty’ incident.