A Bessbrook man who ran into a field to avoid police after driving a “shell of a car” without a licence or insurance has been banned from driving for six months.
The 21-year-old’s barrister told court: “This was a shell of a car I am told, which he bought for £500 to be used as a track car at Nutts Corner. He had been transporting the car, he saw police and simply panicked.”
Glen McArdle, of Brooklawns, had pleas of guilty entered on his behalf to careless driving, no driving licence, using a vehicle without insurance, using a vehicle in a dangerous condition, failing to stop for police and driving with no lights at Newry Magistrates’.
Prosecution outlined that on February 17, at 8pm, police were made aware of a BMW car travelling in the Forkhill area without any lights illuminated.
Officers conducting a vehicle checkpoint on the Carrickasticken Road in Crossmaglen, signalled for a vehicle matching this description to stop.
It failed to do so, swerving to avoid police and switching off its lights.
At 8.15pm, a further police checkpoint attempted to get the driver to stop but once more he failed to do so.
A stinger was then deployed by officers but the driver stopped 150 yards from police and exited his vehicle before running into nearby fields.
Police conducted a search of the area, and at 8.35pm officers were approached by a male who exited a garden on the Newry Road and admitted to being the driver.
This male was identified as the defendant and checks on police systems showed that he did not have a valid licence.
Defence barrister Kevin O’Hare stated: “This man was a new driver, he received six penalty points which resulted in him losing his licence and he never re-sat the test.
“This was a shell of a car I am told, which he bought for £500 to be used as a track car at Nutts Corner. He had been transporting the car, he saw police and simply panicked.”
District Judge Eamonn King disqualified McArdle from driving for a period of six months and ordered him to pay a fine of £700, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.