Man panicked and fled scene, court hears

A Dungiven man who was involved in an accident “panicked” and fled the scene, a court has been told.

Richard Whiteside, with an address at Bonnanboigh, Dungiven, was fined heavily and disqualified for six months at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for offences related to the incident at Bovevagh Road.

The court heard at 9am on October 16, 2014, the injured party was driving in Burnfoot when their vehicle was hit from the right hand side by Whiteside.

The injured party’s vehicle spun and collided with a speed sign. The court heard Whiteside left the scene.

However, the injured party - whose vehicle was written off as a result of the incident - recorded the registration number.

During interview, Whiteside said he didn’t see the junction, and admitted he wasn’t paying attention.

Defence solicitor Paddy McGurk said Whiteside had worked late and had no way home, and he took the vehicle from the yard. He said he was leaving the vehicle back the next day.

Mr. McGurk said Whiteside told his employer straight away, and made admissions to police.

“He has been frank about it,” said Mr McGurk.

Whiteside pleaded guilty to several offences, including failing to remain, failing to stop and report, no insurance, driving without due care and attention, aggravated vehicle taking, no ‘L’ plates and an unaccompanied ‘L’ driver.