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Mother reliant on car to take child to hospital appointments given short ban for A1 speed charge

The restricted driver was clocked at 81mph

A Poyntzpass woman has escaped losing her licence despite exceeding her restricted speed by over 35mph.

The defendant’s counsel told the court that the 32-year-old was the only person with a licence in her household with her child, who suffers from a heart problem, regularly having to attend hospital appointments.

Nicole Vincent, of Church Street, pleaded guilty to being an R driver exceeding 45mph at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that at around 11.30am on December 31, 2017, the defendant was detected travelling at a speed of 81mph on the A1, Dromore, a road with a speed limit of 60mph.

When cautioned by police Vincent replied saying “I’m sorry”.

Deputy District Judge Laura Ivers commented: “She was restricted to 45 despite being a woman in her 30s.”

Court heard the defendant already had three penalty points on her licence and a further three would lead to disqualification as a new driver.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid stated: “Ms Vincent is Scottish but has lived in Northern Ireland for four years with her partner and their child.”

He explained: “Her 11-year-old has moderate learning difficulties, which means they must attend centres.

“They also have a heart problem, with the defendant, as the sole driver in the home, having to take them to the Royal Victoria Hospital constantly.”

Mr Reid asked that the judge consider a short disqualification instead of points due to the “family difficulties”.

The defendant was handed a 14-day disqualification and was ordered to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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