Suspended sentence for ‘crazy’ driving during Fleadh


A man who admitted ‘crazy’ driving offences has received a suspended jail term.

Ryan McLaughlin, of Broomy Lane, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and no insurance on August 14, last year.

The 26-year-old also admitted failing to stop and remain at a scene of an accident and to report it.

Derry Crown Court heard that police noticed the driver of a VW Golf trying to hide his identity.

They identified McLaughlin as the car stopped at traffic lights on the Strand Road.

An officer approached his car, opened the door and told the 26-year-old to turn the car off.

McLaughlin reversed and collided with another car, leaving the four passengers with whiplash injuries.

He then drove off at speed along Queens Quay and the Expressway.

There were a large number of people in the area at the time, as the Fleadh was on, and police ended their pursuit of McLaughlin.

The 26-year-old then attended the police station almost a week later and denied the offences, claiming he was in bed at the time and could provide an alibi.

Defence counsel David Heraghty told the court his client ‘regrets’ the injuries caused during this incident.

He added that on this night McLaughlin was ‘somewhat taken by surprise. When the police came to speak to him he panicked and drove off’.

The barrister told the court the 26-year-old is a ‘troubled young man who has his demons’ despite a happy upbringing.

Suspending a twelve month jail term for three years, Judge Phillip Babington also disqualified him from driving for three years.