Between 10 and 15 people in back of van

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When police stopped a van which had between 10 and 15 people in the back they were told they were trying to get away from an incident at a Banbridge hotel.

Melissa Maughan (23), whose address was given as Enniskeen, Craigavon, was fined £200 last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court sitting in Newry for driving without insurance on March 22 this year.

She was also banned for four months and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

For failing to ensure the safety of a passenger she was fined £100 and she was fined a further £25 for not having a driving licence.

The court heard that police saw a Ford Transit van which was being driving in an erratic manner when it left the Banville Hotel, near Banbridge.

The defendant was driving the vehicle.

When it was stopped by police it was discovered there were between 10 and 15 people in the back with the vehicle only having enough seats for a total of six people.

Inquiries revealed Maughan was not insured and did not have a driving licence.

A solicitor representing the defendant said there had been a reception at the hotel and his client had been holding the keys for the driver of the van.

He explained there was an incident which took place at the reception.

The driver was in no position to drive at this time and so Maughan had decided to leave the scene with her family and some others.

The defendant wanted to put some distance between the incident and her family, the defence solicitor told the court.

She was trying to do the best for her family and made the decision on the spot.