Fined for ‘exceptionally bad driving’

A man charged with crashing into two other cars on Christmas Eve was told by a judge that only for his personal curcumstances he would have received a custodial sentence.

Peter Murphey of Ardan Mews was convicted of dangerous driving following an incident on December 24 2011 on the Madamsbank Road.

On Tuesday, Derry Magistrate’s Court heard how, when approaching a roundabout, Murphey undertook a U-turn manoveure, striking two other cars in the process.

He was also convicted of failing to remain at the scene on the same date, while a third charge of failing to stop was withdrawn by order of the court.

District Judge, Barney McElholm, told Murphey he had been “very reckless.”

“This driving was deliberate and atrocious and has all the signs of a road rage incident.

“The driving went on for a considerable time. Your repeated acts of dangerous driving culminated in this collision. I was initially thinking two things but for the representations made by your solicitor, namely a disqualification of two years at least and the other was a custodial sentence.

“That is how seriously and how badly I view this matter.”

Defence solicitor Paul Kearney had instructed the court that his 55 year -old client had a 35 year unblemished driving record, suffered “a devastating family event” in the months prior to the accident, suffered chronic lung disease and had neurological issues. “While these go no way to explaining what was exceptionally bad driving I’d ask Your Worship to approach the matter from the lowest threshold.”

Murphy was banned from driving for 16 months and until he passes the extended driving test and fined £500.