Young motorist went round corner on wrong side of road

A police car was forced to brake when it met a car coming round a corner on the wrong side of the road, East Tyrone Magistrates Court sitting in Dungannon was told on Friday.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 9:57 am

Trainee mechanic Robert William McFarland from Coolmount Drive, Cookstown, was disqualified from driving for 12 months on a charge of dangerous driving.

The 18-year-old was also fined £185 with a £15 offender levy in relation to the offence at Coalisland Road, Stewartstown, on April 8 last year.

Imposing the penalties District Judge Michael Ranaghan described the offence as “being at the lower end of dangerous driving”.

Pair were refused bail.

The court heard that a defence submission that the charge should be reduced to careless driving had been rejected at an earlier hearing.

A prosecuting lawyer said at approximately 10.07am police were on the Coalisland Road travelling towards Coalisland when they met a Peugeot car coming round a corner on the wrong side of the road.

Counsel said the driver was forced to brake to avoid a collision and the Peugeot continued at speed with police attempting to follow.

She said the Peugeot drove through the village of Stewartstown at speed and police later observed it parked outside the last registered owner’s home address.

The lawyer added that police spoke to the defendant’s mother as the adult present and later McFarland, who admitted being the driver at the time.

Defence lawyer Blaine Nugent said it was an unfortunate set of circumstances for the defendant whose lapse fell below the standard expected of road users.

Mr Nugent described the defendant as a conscientious young man who studied three days a week at Dungannon Tech and two working as a mechanic.

He said the loss of his licence would be detrimental to him as he needed it to continue his studies.

Pleading for leniency, Mr Nugent asked the court to keep the period of disqualification to the minimum.

District Judge Ranaghan said in the circumstances he would keep the disqualification to one of 12 months and gave McFarland 20 weeks to pay the fine.

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