Driver escapes six-month ban

With six points already on his licence a 24-year-old man faced a six month ban on the totting up system when he admitted a no insurance offence last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

But the judge felt that there was merit in a defence solicitor’s application for exceptional hardship and did not impose a disqualification.

Andrew Neill Mooney, Thornwood, Banbridge, admitted driving a Volkswagen Caddy van without insurance on May 5 this year at Old Warrenpoint Road, Newry.

The court heard he was stopped at 2.15am and elected to produce his insurance at Banbridge. Some days later he attended at the police station and accepted he had no insurance.

A solicitor representing the defendant said his client already had six points on his licence. He explained that when he was stopped Mooney had been returning from work as an assistant manager at a restaurant in Lisburn.

The solicitor added he had been driving his brother’s van because his own car was getting work done for the MOT.

Handing in letters from the defendant’s mother and his employers to court he said that Mooney was working two jobs at the moment.

He explained that Mooney lived with his mother and assisted her financially and if he lost his job they would not be able to afford the family home.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said he could ‘see merit’ in this and would not disqualify him on this occasion. He fined Mooney £300, and gave him six points but did not impose a disqualification.