Show-off driver rolled modified car in Bellaghy as passengers screamed for him to show down

Accident
Accident

A motorist who rolled his car on a country road was smiling as he accelerated harder despite screams from his passengers to slow down, Magherafelt Magistrates Court was told.

Mark Montgomery (25), sprayer, of Beechland Road, Magherafelt, was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for two years for dangerous driving.

PSNI officer

PSNI officer

District Judge Alan White told Montgomery that he was showing off to the female occupants and excessive speed had been to blame.

Mr White said defendant was very fortunate that nothing serious had happened to the girls, or he would have found himself going to the Crown Court.

The court heard that around 6pm on March 13 last year Montgomery had picked his passengers up at Meadowlane shopping centre, Magherafelt, to take them to Sandymount in the town.

A PPS lawyer said instead of going there the defendant drove off towards Castledawson into Bellaghy and turned off onto the Gulladuff Road were he continued accelerating despite screaming from the passengers to slow down.

The prosecutor said the impact caused the engine block to be thrown some 30 feet from the vehicle and it was found in an opposite field.

He said one of the injured parties claimed Montgomery was smiling as he sped-up before losing control of the car causing it to roll into trees by the roadside.

The prosecutor said the impact caused the engine block to be thrown some 30 feet from the vehicle and it was found in an opposite field.

He said two of the passengers managed to get out of the vehicle and had been taken by ambulance to hospital when police arrived. A third female, who had to be pulled from the vehicle, had lacerations and cuts to her head and shoulders.

Continuing, the barrister said Montgomery told police he was familiar with the road and that he had modified the vehicle by lowing its springs.

He said Montgomery blamed the uneven surface and the modification for the accident, but refused to tell police what speed he was doing.

A defence lawyer admitted there could have been serious consequences for the three young women.

However, he pointed out that the defendant had a clear record with no convictions for motoring matters.

The lawyer said Montgomery and a friend had lowered the vehicle with the understanding it would pass the MoT, although he accepted that the lowering was a contributory factor to the accident.