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.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 8:57 am

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”.

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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.