Unqualified driver gave sister's name when stopped by police

A LEARNER driver took her friend's car to drive to work and then gave her sister's name when stopped by police, a court has been told.

Aine O’Hagan (24) of Coolkeeran Road, Loughgiel pleaded guilty to a total of six charges at North Antrim Magistrates Court on Friday.

They were: taking a motor vehicle without authority, no ‘L’ plates, being an unaccompanied learner driver, obstructing a constable, failing to produce a driving licence and no insurance.

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The court was told police stopped O’Hagan at approximately 10.45am on November 25 at Kilmandi Road, Cloughmills.

She was driving a Peugeot car and police asked her to produce her driving documents which she was unable to do.

A short time later police discovered she had given police her sister’s name. She later attended Ballymena Police Station where she admitted the offences.

Defence solicitor Archie McCormick said his client had passed her driving test in recent months and has been driving legally in that time.

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He told the court prior to the incident O’Hagan’s sister regularly gave her a lift to work.

On the day of the offences he said another party had been staying at their house. O’Hagan’s sister was unable to give her a lift to work and O’Hagan took the third party’s car which she was subsequently stopped in at a police checkpoint.

Mr McCormick said his client had to come clean when a court summons arrived at the family home in the name of O’Hagan’s sister.

He said his client was well-respected in the community and had helped those stricken during the heavy snowfall in north Antrim during the winter.

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“This was not a cunning trick, it was a sheer act of stupidity,” he said.

“She just panicked. There was never any possibility she was going to get away with it.”

District Judge Richard Wilson said to O’Hagan: “Very stupid wasn’t it?

“You realise you won’t be driving for a while.”

He fined O’Hagan a total of 600 and disqualified her from driving for six months.

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