A1 speeder was late for anniversary mass

After losing track of time at work a 28-year-old man drove at over 100mph on the A1 dual carriageway to get to an anniversary mass.

Sean McAvoy, of Carnalroe Road, Ballyward, admitted driving at excess speed on June 26 of this year.

He was fined £150 on Thursday (October 6) at Banbridge Magistrates Court, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and banned from driving for three months.

Banbridge Magistrates Court heard that he was detected travelling at 101mph in a 70mph zone on the A1 dual carriageway.

Due to the speed he was not suitable for a fixed penalty.

A barrister representing the defendant said his client had been driving since he was 17 and he had a clear record with no points on his licence.

He explained that McAvoy was employed in the family business and also worked part time on a farm.

The lawyer added that this was totally out of character for his client who, on this occasion, had been delayed at work.

He explained that his client was to attend an anniversary mass for his aunt and had lost track of time.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said high speed was a regular contributor to serious accidents.

He recognised that the defendant was of excellent character from the references handed in, but the court had to send out a message that excessive speed would attract a disqualification.

Later in the court McAvoy’s barrister asked for bail to appeal against the sentence and Judge Copeland set bail at £250. He further gave the defendant permission to drive pending the appeal.