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Van driver who left scene of collision was in hurry to airport to collect wife from flight home

At time of the collision defence said he was 'on somewhat of a mission of mercy as he was delivering clothes for a charitable purpose which were to be transported to Romania'

Armagh Courthouse

A Loughgall man who drove off after reversing into a car was in a hurry to collect his wife from a flight home from Scotland, court has heard.

The 54-year-old’s solicitor said the defendant “was on somewhat of a mission of mercy as he was delivering clothes for a charitable purpose which were to be transported to Romania”.

Joseph Hughes, of Drumilly Road, pleaded guilty to failing to stop and failing to report an accident at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on September 30, at 4.15pm police received a report from the injured party that their car had been struck by a van on the Seaboughan Road, Markethill.

The following day, officers viewed CCTV which showed a Ford Transit van reverse into the side of the injured party’s car.

A male driver was seen to get out of the van and pull at the wheel arch of the Ford Galaxy, before returning to his vehicle and leaving.

Police then contacted the last registered owner of the van, which was Joseph Hughes.

He attended a voluntary interview, where he admitted to being the driver and reversing into the injured party’s car.

Defence solicitor Oisin Toner stated: “Mr Hughes has been driving some 34 years without being involved in any collision. He also acts as a carer for his wife.

“On the day in question, he was on somewhat of a mission of mercy as he was delivering clothes for a charitable purpose which were to be transported to Romania.”

He continued: “After colliding with the car he knocked on doors but got no answer. He left but had every intention of returning as he was regularly in the area.

“The reason he was in a rush was that his wife was returning on a flight from Scotland. Before he had a chance to return he was contacted by police.”

Mr Toner stated: “He was very candid with police. This is a man who has never been before a court before.”

Hughes was handed five penalty points and was ordered to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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