‘Stubborn attitude’ leads to points and £150 fine

Dungannon Courthouse

Dungannon Courthouse

A Derrylaughan man who refused to accept a fixed penalty after being spotted using his phone while driving has received a fine over twice that of the ‘ticket’.

Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court was Chris Savage, 50, from Washingbay Road.

He pleaded guilty to one count of using a mobile phone while driving.

The court heard how, on June 29th, police were on patrol in the Moy area when they spotted the defendant driving on Derrygally Road.

As he turned onto Bovean Road, they saw him with a mobile phone to his ear.

He was stopped but denied the charge, refusing to accept the fixed penalty.

“He has a relevant record but most of the offences are of some vintage,” said Mr Niall McGuinness, defending.

“He was last convicted of using his mobile phone in June 2015.

“On this occasion he received an incoming call which didn’t hook into his hands free kit.”

He went on to describe how his client, a self-employed electrician, requires his licence as he travels 50-60k miles per year for work.

Handing down a fine of £150 and three penalty points, District Judge John Meehan remarked that had he accepted the fixed penalty it would’ve only been £60.

“(That is) just a portion of the cost to the public that he triggered by taking such a stubborn attitude to the charge.”

An offender’s levy of £15 was also imposed by Judge Meehan.