Judge refuses to release driver

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A judge has refused to release a Derry driver on bail telling him he could not do in the interests of ‘protecting the lives of other road users’.

A special sitting of Derry Magistrate’s Court held yesterday morning heard that 20 years old William Keenan of Bonds Hill had admitted to police that he was disqualified from driving after his car was seen driving in ‘an erratic manner’ in the Waterside on Friday afternoon.

Police recognised Keenan as a man who had been disqualified from driving on four different occasions in 2013 - and who had not long been released from serving a sentence in relation to his driving history.

The court heard Keenan had 53 previous convictions, 14 of which were related to driving.

Judge Meehan told the defendant he had “never seen the like of him before” - and that the outcome of this case “was inevitable”.

“I am not impressed,” Judge Meehan said.

“This is a very determined offender who has been detected for the fifth time in rapid succession. “

He said releasing the defendant would allow him “to pursue his dogged determination to continue driving, no matter the cost.”

The court heard from a defence solicitor that Keenan’s partner is currently expecting the couple’s first baby in the coming weeks and that the 20 year old was the sole carer for his father, who is currently recovering from a stroke.

Judge Meehan said Keenan should have put the needs of those who depended on him above his need to drive.

Keenan will appear again in Derry Magistrates court on Thursday of next week.