Carn motorist claimed rear car spin was caused by ice

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A motorist who spun the rear of his car in a housing estate claimed it was caused by ice on the road.

Carndonagh District Court heard on Tuesday that Garda Lambe was on mobile patrol at Convent Road, Carndonagh on January 4th, 2014 when she observed a dark Volkswagen Golf spinning to the rear in the middle of a cul-de-sac. The car was being driven by Frank Devlin, 57, Convent Road, Carndonagh.

The Garda put on the blue flashing lights on the patrol car and stopped Devlin. She put it to him that he “whipped” the car around as if a “handbrake was used.”

Devlin denied this, telling the Garda there was ice on the road.

The Garda also observed that the car had three bald tyres.

Buncrana Garda Inspector David Murphy said there had been ice on the road surface that night, but “nothing that would cause the vehicle to whip around in such a manner.”

The court heard Devlin possesses previous convictions for failing to display learner plates and possession of a flick knife.

Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn said Devlin, an unemployed labourer, had been at his mother’s house that evening and had someone else in the car with him.

He said Devlin “drove 20 yards” to a turntable and “believes he drove it too fast and the car turned, giving the impression of a handbrake turn.”

Mr MacLochlainn told the court: “More than anything, he was probably going a bit too fast.”

He added: “No-one was at any risk. It was 9.30pm at night and no-one was in the area of the turntable.”

Judge Paul Kelly said the fact Devlin’s car had three bald tyres would make the car “more likely” to spin.

He fined Devlin 150 for driving without due consideration and 50 euro for a bald, left front tyre. He struck out the remaining matters, adding that Devlin was close to accruing maximum penalty points, “so could be very close to being off the road.”