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Craigavon teenager’s modified car was ‘unroadworthy and dangerous’

On hearing the facts, District Judge Francis Rafferty asked: 'I'm presuming there were pictures of this heap?'

A Craigavon teenager caught driving a vehicle so heavily modified that it was deemed “unroadworthy and dangerous” has been fined and given penalty points.

Ethan Blake, 19, of Clonmeen, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court charged with having a defective tyre, driving a vehicle causing excessive noise and driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

The charges are dated on court papers as having occurred on December 18 last year on the Old Portadown Road in Lurgan.

The court heard the defendant had been stopped by police in a grey Volkswagen Golf that was in an “unroadworthy and dangerous condition”.

Police seized the vehicle for the purposes of an examination and a number of defects were discovered.

When the vehicle was lifted up, the two rear springs were loose and fell out.

The vehicle was also lowered on adjustable coilovers, to such an extent that it was making a connection with the road surface in a number of places.

The exhaust had also been modified to make the vehicle louder and it was producing excessive black smoke. There was also a loose wire to the rear bumper, close to the exhaust exit and excessive oil leakage.

The windscreen was also considered to be obstructed.

On hearing the facts, District Judge Francis Rafferty asked: “I’m presuming there were pictures of this heap?”

A defence lawyer then told the court all the criticisms and issues have since been rectified.

They explained that their client had purchased the vehicle himself and made the modifications after it passed MOT.

They added that the defendant had not received points previously.

Judge Rafferty noted the defendant, “can’t have modified it very well”, pointing to the springs falling out of the vehicle.

He imposed three penalty points alongside a total of fine of £300, which was to be paid within 16 weeks.

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