Careless driver caused death of his mother

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man whose driving caused the death of his 82-year-old mother, who suffered from dementia, and the death of an unborn child, has received a six month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Noel Young (48) of Carraloan Road, Magherafelt, was also banned from driving for four years at Derry Crown Court.

Young pleaded guilty to causing the death of his mother Vera Young by driving without due care and attention.

He also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm by careless driving to two passengers in a car which he crashed into.

The passengers were Warunee Doherty, who was nineteen weeks pregnant and who lost her unborn baby, and her father-in-law Bernard Doherty. They, together with Mrs. Doherty’s husband Brian, had just arrived in Northern Ireland from Manchester on August 2, 2015, for a family holiday in Malin Town in Co. Donegal.

The collision occurred on a road between Magherafelt and Dungiven. It happened just two months after the defendant had undergone the latest in a number of neurological surgical procedures for a brain tumour.

Passing sentence, Judge Babington said the current guidelines suggested that as a result of the surgery the defendant would not have been allowed to drive for one year after the operation “therefore he would not have been allowed to drive on the date of this accident”.

Judge Babington added the defendant should have been warned not to drive following the surgery and “he should have been told to contact the DVLNI. It seems he was not told anything and neither were any of his relatives”.

The judge said: “This is an exceptionally difficult case. The defendant’s mother has died.

“Two other people suffered life changing injuries and an unborn baby died.

“The defendant is not a well man physically and he should not have been on the road, but he was and that was not his fault in any way.”