A defence barrister for a man who caused a collision near Bushmills, which saw one vehicle turned upside down and another come to rest on a garden wall, said his client wasn’t a “boy racer” and there was no evidence that speed played a part.
Lawyer Thomas McKeever was speaking at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Friday August 31 where James Waugh (19), of Dungannon Road, Portadown, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention. A prosecutor told the court that on May 18 this year the defendant was driving a Ford Ranger vehicle at Priestland Road.
The lawyer said a vehicle had stopped on the road with its hazard lights on and other vehicles were behind it and the defendant failed to react in time and collided with vehicles. The prosecutor said minor injuries were caused in the collision.
Defence barrister Mr McKeever said his client made full admissions during interview.
He said the incident happened at a “dangerous corner” and his client’s instructions were that he was not speeding although he was admitting driving without due care and attention.
Mr McKeever said the defendant, who had a previously clear record, was heavily reliant on keeping his driving licence as he attends an agricultural course in Antrim and drives from Portadown and also helps his father around a farm.
Added the lawyer: “This isn’t a young boy racer, he is very diligent and extremely cautious on the road”.
Mr McKeever said a car had been parked on a grass verge at a corner and the defendant tried to take evasive action but clipped another vehicle.
“Fortunately the injuries were minor,” he added.
Mr McKeever said the fact that another car was overturned was maybe explained by the type of vehicle a Ford Ranger is.
Deputy District Judge Paul Conway said he had “certain reservations” about the accident regarding whether it was caused by speed or whether the defendant was distracted doing something in his vehicle. However, the judge said there was no evidence to “support my concerns”.
Judge Conway said the impact caused one of the vehicles to overturn “which shows the amount of force”.
The defendant was given five penalty points and fined £385.