Chasing car after bottle was thrown

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After a bottle was thrown from another car at his vehicle on the A1 dual carriageway a 22-year-old man set off in pursuit and was caught breaking the speed limit.

With nine points already on his licence Mark Irvine, Derryboy Road, Crossgar, was facing a six month ban on the tot up points system.

But his barrister put forward a plea of ‘exceptional hardship’ if he was banned and the judge last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court agreed.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, fined Irvine £250, ordered him to pay a £15 offender’s levy and gave him three points.

This brought his total of points to 12 and he faced a six month ban. Instead the judge imposed a ban of one month.

The court heard that at around 9.20pm police were carrying out speed checks on the A1 dual carriageway at Dromore.

They detected the defendant driving at 80mph in the 60mph zone and because of the points already on his licence could not issue a fixed penalty.

When interviewed Irvine said: “I was trying to stop a car which threw a bottle at us.”

Defence barrister, Mr Justin Byrne, said that his client worked abroad for 10 months of this year and on this occasion he was home for Christmas.

He explained that Irvine had been with friends when someone from another vehicle threw a bottle across his vehicle and he went after the car.

Judge Copeland said the defendant should have got the registration number rather that setting off in a high speed pursuit.

Mr Byrne said Irvine was highly thought off by his company and in the community. If he was disqualified for six months he might lose his job.

He suggested that perhaps if the disqualification was kept to one month the defendant had some leave to take and this would not impact on the employment situation.

Judge Copeland told Irvine his behaviour was irresponsible and he had put his licence in jeopardy and his job at risk.

But, he added, he was satisfied there would be exceptional hardship.