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Armagh man who reversed into cousin’s van banned from driving for a year

When interviewed he denied owning the offending car, denied being involved in the collision and claimed his vehicle had been burned out

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who reversed into his cousin’s van has been banned from driving for a year.

The 33-year-old’s barrister had alleged in court that his client had been the “victim of multiple attacks by the injured party” and that he was “at the end of his tether”.

Michael Cawley, of Callanbridge Park, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at the city’s Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, last Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on July 9, at 8.30am, police were called to a road traffic collision on Callanbridge Park in Armagh.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to the injured party who stated that they had been driving their van along Callanbridge Park, when they observed their cousin – the defendant – standing behind his vehicle.

He claimed Cawley maintained eye contact before reversing on to the road and then pursuing the injured party in reverse.

In order to avoid a collision, the injured party reversed his van until coming to the crest of a hill and, being able to see any oncoming vehicle, he slowed.

The defendant’s car then collided with the injured party’s van, causing extensive damage, before then making off.

Inquiries led police to a nearby scrapyard. CCTV showed that approximately 25 minutes after the collision, a male matching Cawley’s description entered with a car which had extensive damage to the rear.

At 9.30am, police located and arrested the defendant at Mullacreevie Park in Armagh.

When interviewed, Cawley denied owning the offending car, he denied being involved in the collision and claimed his vehicle had been burned out.

After being shown the CCTV footage of the scrapyard, the defendant then made no comment to police questions.

Defence barrister John McCann alleged that his client had been the “victim of multiple attacks by the injured party” and that the defendant was “at the end of his tether”.

He accepted that this was not an “excuse” but commented it added some context to the incident.

The solicitor added that Cawley appeared with no record and a clear licence, having passed his test at the age of 17.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer disqualified the defendant from driving for 12 months and ordered him to pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

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