Beach ‘donut driver’ lucky to escape ban

Courts
Courts

AN unmarked police vehicle on a beach patrol spotted a BMW driver doing ‘power-sliding’ and ‘donutting’ on a popular north coast beach when other members of the public were present.

Daniel Hughes had previously admitted a charge of driving without due care and attention at Portstewart Strand and was ordered by District Judge Liam McNally to appear before him to make representations as to why he should not be banned from driving.

A prosecutor said at 8.40pm on Thursday June 2 this year police were patrolling the beach in an unmarked vehicle and saw the BMW “power-sliding” and “donutting” on the beach where members of the public were nearby.

The judge wanted to know if there was any question of other members of the public being put in danger by the driving and the prosecutor said it was not apparent from her papers if anybody was placed in peril.

Hughes (22) of Caulside Park in Antrim, represented himself in court and said although there were people further along the part of the beach he was on was “completely empty”.

He said his driving started off as a “mistake” which “turned into a deliberate action” and he said he realises he shouldn’t have done it and would not have done so if people were nearby.

“I only really endangered myself, there was no one around me,” he said.

Judge McNally said whenever he first heard about the case he had given real consideration to a disqualification but said he had to give credit for a guilty plea and had to take into account the time of the incident and Hughes’ explanation. Hughes was given six penalty points and fined £200.