Van stopped at Dromore had false number plates

editorial image

When he was detected with false number plates on a van on the A1 near Dromore it was discovered that a 39-year-old man was a disqualified driver.

Nigel Cousins, Moat Street, Donaghadee, admitted driving while disqualified on December 8, 2014 and not having insurance.

For these offences he was given an enhanced combination order of 50 hours community service and probation for 18 months. Six penalty points were also imposed.

He was fined £250 for fraudulent use of a registration mark, £75 for not having a goods vehicle certificate, £75 for failing to notify of change of ownership and £100 for obstructing police.

The court heard that at 11.45am on the A1 dual carriageway near Dromore police stopped a van with suspected false registration plates. Cousins admitted he had purchased the vehicle which was seized by police.

A prosecutor said that the delay in the case had been because of unsuccessful attempts with the service of the summons.

A solicitor representing the defendant said her client would have changed address about six months after he had been spoken to by police.

She added that Cousins had been a hard working man employed as a motor engineer with his own business.

The solicitor explained that at the time he was disqualified his marriage was failing and there was a significant deterioration in his mental health.

She said he was now in a new relationship and had a young daughter.

Referring to a pre-sentence report she added that at the time of the offences he was trying to maintain contacts across Northern Ireland and used false plates to try and hold onto business.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said Cousins had a significant record with many convictions for road traffic offences. He added that this particular episode was a deliberate attempt to fool the authorities.

But, he added, the defendant’s new partner had a stabilising influence and lifestyle and he admitted he had made a number of misjudgements.

“I am going to give you the opportunity to show the court and the community that you not only know better but can do better,” Judge Copeland told Cousins.