Judge hits out at young drivers who speed

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A judge says young men driving at almost twice they speed they are restricted to is one reason why you hear of deaths on the roads.

District Judge Liam McNally was speaking as Coleraine Magistrates Court was told Benjamin Lyttle (18), a tyre fitter of Circular Road, Castlerock, was detected driving at 80mph on Coleraine’s Ring Road at Halloween last year.

A prosecutor said just after midnight police followed a Volkswagen Jetta with R plates which meant the driver was restricted to 45mph.

Defence solicitor Brendan McLernon said his client was leaving a friend home and with no other traffic around the speed crept up but didn’t believe he was driving as fast as 80mph although it was more than 45mph.

In his absence at court, Lyttle was banned from driving for a month and fined £100.

Judge McNally said he wanted to bring it home to young people that they can’t drive at that sort of speed.

* A man who had champagne to celebrate his granny’s 90th birthday was later caught driving with excess alcohol.

Police spotted David Ferguson (50), of Captain Street, Coleraine, driving over central white lines at Bannfield Road in the town at 2am on February 20 this year and his blood alcohol level was 111, with the legal limit being 80.

A defence lawyer said after attending the birthday his client made a “foolish” decision to drive home.

The solicitor said his client has been abstaining from alcohol over the last few months because he “realises it leads to foolish decisions like this”.

Ferguson, who pleaded guilty to the charge at Coleraine Magistrates Court on July 4, was banned from driving for a year and fined £250.

*A Macosquin man has been charged with a number of offences including dangerous driving.

Dean McAfee (47), of Ramsey Park, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday July 4.

He is accused of committing offences while driving at Volkswagen Polo at Kinnyglass Road near Macosquin on May 4 this year including dangerous driving; driving while disqualified; driving with excess alcohol; no insurance and failing to remain and report an accident.

A police officer believed she could connect him to the charges.

A defence solicitor said her client is on Employment and Support Allowance. The case was adjourned to August 1 and the accused was released without any bail conditions.

* A Portrush teenager has had driving charges withdrawn after agreeing to undertake a Driver Improvement Scheme.

Coleraine Magistrates Court heard Calvin McLaughlin (19) of Garron Park, had been charged with driving without due care and attention in the town on February 28 this year and two other charges relating to a defective light and absence of ‘R’ plates.