At Portrush Petty Sessions this week in 1929 an omnibus driver from Garvaghy in Co Londonderry was fined the maximum penalty of £10, with 9s 9d extra costs, for failing to comply with a police signal to stop on the August bank holiday in Portrush.
District-Inspector McNeill, who prosecuted, said that case in question was not just a usual one of a driver having failed to observe a police signal, “but a most serious affair”.
The magistrates were told that two constables had boarded the bus after several complaints were reported to the town’s barracks but there was no driver.
While the police searched for the driver the defendant “jumped into the bus, took the wheel and drove off” while clearly “totally incapable of driving”.
The sessions heard how women were left clinging to their husbands and children to their parents, yelling at the police to save them from “this drunken driver”.
The police were carried for a mile out of the town, and in the end they had to jump from the bus.
The defendant drove onto Portglenone were he was later arrested.
In announcing the decision of the magistrates Mr T G Houston said that the defendant had taken the lives of his passengers into his own hands.
He added that it was the most serious offence and the most deplorable case of the sort he had ever heard.