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Driver who overtook unmarked police car dangerously on M1 wrote to court pleading for his licence

A fine and penalty points were imposed as he said he needed his licence to take himself and family to hospital appointments

A Lurgan man who dangerously overtook an unmarked police car on the M1 has been handed three penalty points.

In a letter to the court, the 40-year-old outlined that he needed his licence to attend appointments for himself, his children and his wife as they were all disabled.

Hugh Toulough Whitla, of Ballynamoney Grove, did not appear as he pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court last Friday.

It was heard that on May 3, at 3.10pm, police were travelling in an unmarked car on the M1 in the outside lane.

They were passing a lorry when the defendant, driving a Hyundai Tucson, passed them in the inside lane before manoeuvring in front of them through a narrow gap.

This caused the officer driving to have to brake suddenly.

Whitla was stopped a short distance away and when spoken to apologised for the manoeuvre.

In a letter read out in court, the defendant stated that he along with his wife and children were disabled.

Whitla said he relied on having his licence for attending appointments.

The defendant was handed three penalty points and ordered to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

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