Motorist was taking message to his sister

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

A south Derry motorist stopped by police three months after being disqualified from driving told the District Judge that he had been “very stupid”.

Before Magherafelt Magistrates Court was Darren James O’Neill, of Parkmore Close, Magherafelt, who was fined a total of £615 and banned from driving for two years.

The 39-year-old factory worker admitted driving while disqualified, having no insurance and taking a vehicle without authority on April 16 this year.

Prosecuting counsel told District Judge Oonagh Mullan that police on mobile patrol at 8.40pm observed a vehicle driving along Parkmore out towards Moneymore Road and turning into Westland Road.

He said police suspected the driver was disqualified and made a check on the system.

The lawyer said the car stopped at a property on Westland Road and the driver got out and went in.

He said police called at the address and spoke to the defendant who was subsequently arrested for driving while disqualified.

O’Neill, who was not professionally represented, said his sister was only out of hospital and he had to take something to her.

“That’s the only reason I was driving,” he said.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Mullan warned O’Neill that if he was caught driving on the road again he would lose his licence for “a very long time” or face a custodial sentence.

Ms Mullan told him not to be getting behind the wheel during his period of disqualification.