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Man looking at calendar app on phone gets court date after refusing fixed penalty

He 'mistakenly believed' it was not illegal as he was not speaking on phone

An Armagh man with “a little knowledge of the law” admitted using his phone whilst driving.

Court heard the 38-year-old believed that he was not committing an offence as he was speaking on the device when spotted.

Colm Paul Campbell, of Battleford Road, pleaded to the offence of using a mobile whilst driving at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that on June 14 at around 6.15pm police were on patrol in the Lurgan area.

Their vehicle came to a stop at a red light on Annesborough Road where they pulled up next to the defendant’s vehicle.

Officers observed as Campbell held the phone at eye level whilst the car was resting.

Police noted that at one point the defendant took both hands off the steering wheel and was incapable of paying attention to the road.

When pulled over Campbell informed officers he had been looking at the calendar application on his phone.

The defendant was offered a fixed penalty but refused this as he did not accept he had committed an offence.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated that Campbell had “a little knowledge of the law” but “mistakenly believed that it was not illegal as he had not been speaking on the phone”.

He added that the defendant after “legal advice” now realised that this was viewed as “equally dangerous”.

Campbell was handed the equivalent of a fixed penalty.

This was in the form of three penalty points and a fine of £60, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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