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Showjumper ‘busy with competitions’ convicted in her absence

Armagh Courthouse

A Co Tyrone horse jumper with an unblemished driving record has been fined in her absence whilst competing in Spain.

Emily Turkington, 24, of Killyneedan Road, Cookstown, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday charged with failing to produce her licence or insurance and driving whilst using her mobile phone.

The incident occurred at around 2.30 pm on July 2, last year, when police spotted the defendant driving an Audi Q7 whilst using her mobile phone.

Police stopped Turkington on the Newry Road, Armagh, and at the roadside she accepted the offence and offered to pay the fixed penalty.

When asked by police to show her documentation she informed them the paper part of her licence was missing.

Police gave her an extended date of August 28 to produce her licence and insurance details at a police station.

By August 30 these were still not produced; Turkington was contacted several times with voicemails left with no reply.

Defence counsel told the court that the defendant was absent as she was competing at a horse jumping contest in Spain.

They explained that Turkington had been driving for seven years and had “not a blemish” on her record.

Adding that she believed she had paid the fixed penalty and only picked up her phone as the call was urgent.

With regards to the non-production, this was put down to confusion with the defendant often having to travel for competitions.

District Judge Paul Copeland ordered Turkington to pay a fine of £165, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

The defendant also had three penalty points put on their licence.

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