Sparks flew as speeding motorist fled from police
Sparks flew when a car hit a road bump as a motorist from the Portglenone area made off from police at speed in the early hours, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told.
Shane McGuigan (19), of Largy Road, was sentenced on charges including dangerous driving; failing to stop for police; failing to provide a specimen of breath and absence of insurance for a Seat Leon.
A prosecutor said police saw a vehicle at 12.40am on February 21 this year but the defendant made off at speed at around 70mph in a 30mph zone and “gave no regard for four young males that he drove past”.
He then “drove through three Stop signs without stopping”.
He did around 80mph in a 40mph zone and continued to “ignore” police who were using flashing lights.
The prosecutor added: “The defendant’s vehicle then hit a bump in the road causing sparks to fly from the car and eventually he came to a stop”.
Police smelt intoxicating liquor from the defendant who refused a preliminary breath test and also refused an evidential sample.
During interview he admitted he made off from police because he had no insurance.
The court heard the defendant had a previously clear record.
A defence lawyer said the defendant, a mechanic, pleaded guilty to all charges.
He said McGuigan had gone into a “panic” when he saw police as he was uninsured.
The lawyer said the defendant had a “couple of drinks” around 7.30pm and had made a “wrong decision” to try and evade police.
He said it was an “out of character” offence and he was “extremely remorseful”.
The lawyer said McGuigan didn’t realise it was a legal requirement to give a sample but he has “learned his lesson”.
District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant: “This is a very poor piece of driving. You were very lucky not to have a serious accident and not to injure yourself or others or indeed, God forbid, kill somebody because driving at this speed, with drink onboard, this could easily have been a much more serious case.
“You could easily have been standing before a judge and jury facing a very lengthy custodial sentence”.
McGuigan was ordered to do 120 hours of Community Service and was banned from driving for 18 months.