Coagh man banned from road after driving on pavement ‘to speak to friend’

Magherafelt Courthouse.
Magherafelt Courthouse.

A young Tyrone man who drove a car along a footpath before getting out and running off, has appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

Aaron O’Neill, (21), of Drumenny Road, Coagh, was fined a total of £525 and banned from driving for 12 months.

O’Neill admitted driving without due care and attention, having no insurance, and no driving licence on October 16 last.

Prosecuting counsel said police travelling towards on the Toome bypass towards Castledawson came on a traffic queue at Castledawson junction.

She said police saw a car drive up onto the kerb and continue along the pavement and indicated for it to stop.

The lawyer said the defendant got out of the vehicle and ran off. She said that he was subsequently spoken to by police and admitted the offences.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had been at his partner’s house and they had stopped off at Toome.

He said O’Neill had “very foolishly” decided to drive along the pavement to speak to a friend.

The solicitor stressed that defendant had been frank with police in his subsequent interview and admitted he didn’t have insurance.

He pointed out that O’Neill had two convictions for no insurance and his driving on his occasion had been utterly unnecessary.

The lawyer added that after being disqualified the defendant had not applied for a licence.

He pleaded with the court to give defendant credit for his early plea.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan remarked the defendant had been disqualified in January last year for six months and three months after that ended he was driving again without insurance.

She told him that it had been a totally irresponsible action on his part to drive along a footpath. “You should not have been even driving,” she said.

For permitting O’Neill to drive without insurance and with no licence, Tara Andrews from Cavehill Road, Belfast, was fined a total of £290.

The 23-year-old mother-of-one was also given six penalty points for permitting the no insurance.

The prosecuting lawyer said Andrews was a front seat passenger in the car being driven by O’Neill.

She said defendant admitted being the owner of the vehicle and that O’Neill did not have insurance to drive.

District Judge Mullan told Andrews that she had been “very foolish” to allow O’Neill to drive, particularly when she knew he had no insurance.

She said the owner has a responsibility and cannot allow anyone to drive their vehicle.

A defence solicitor said the defendant had fully cooperated with the police.

The judge gave both defendants maximum time to pay their fines.