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Court told man who ‘panicked’ after hit and run has sold car and got bus pass

Defence said: 'He did realise that he made contact with the other car but just panicked and drove off'

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A Portadown man who drove off after hitting a parked car has been handed five penalty points and a £375 fine.

Court heard the 61-year-old claimed he “panicked” after colliding with the other vehicle and that he had not driven since the incident.

Mark Clements, of Kernan Grove, pleaded guilty to driving with due care or attention, failing to remain, failing to stop and failing to report an accident at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It was heard that on March 9, police received a report of a hit and run on Woodhouse Street in Portadown.

The owner of a BMW claimed their car had been hit by a Toyota Auris which had driven off.

Officers attended the home of the last registered owner of this car.

They found the vehicle parked in the driveway with damage to its passenger side.

Police spoke to the defendant at the address who admitted to being the driver at the time in question.

During interview, Clements made full admissions. He said he had been trying to drive around the injured party’s car but had misjudged it.

When asked why he drove off the defendant claimed that he had “panicked”.

Defence solicitor Joseph McDonald stated: “This is a man who has been driving since he was 21. This happened on Woodhouse Street, it is very narrow with cars parked on both sides.

“He did realise that he made contact with the other car but just panicked and drove off.”

He continued: “There is CCTV on this street and in fact, the owner of the other car had been sat in it parked at the time.

“He was fully insured so any damage has been paid for. Since the incident he has not driven as he now has a bus pass and has sold the car.”

Clements was handed five penalty points and was ordered to pay a fine of £375, along with the offender’s levy of £15 within 15 weeks.

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