Pensioner banned from driving after hit-and-run on way to doctor’s appointment

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An 82-year-old widower from Dungannon has been banned from the road after pleading guilty to careless driving following a hit-and-run.

Handing down the three-month disqualification, District Judge John Meehan told Patrick Hughes from Gortin Heights: “Hit-and-runs are highly anti-social and cannot be tolerated at any stage of a driver’s life.”

The court heard how the injured party was driving around the Thomas Street roundabout in Dungannon on the early afternoon of April 22.

As she exited on to Circular Road she slowed to allow a pedestrian to cross the road in front of them.

A vehicle driven by the defendant collided with the rear of the car as he came from the Oaks Road direction before “making off”. The injured part suffered minor injuries.

Police later attended Mr Hughes’ home and observed damage to his car. He later made a full admission to the offences.

Mr Patsy Hughes, defending, told the court that his client had been running late for a doctor’s appointment.

He said that as his client had come on to the roundabout the car in front had stopped suddenly in front of him, though he admitted to having been too close.

Mr Hughes said that his client had left the scene “in a panic” but had returned after his appointment and could find no evidence of the injured party.

He said that he believed there to have been minimal contact between the two vehicles.

“He has been driving for 60 years with one previous for careless driving in 1991,” Mr Hughes told the court.

“He was recently declared medically capable of driving.

“I would ask the court to not take his licence from him... he lives some two miles from the town.”

District Judge John Meehan handed down fines totalling £350 and a three month driving disqualification.

He also imposed a £15 offender’s levy.