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Uninsured motorist blames ‘genuine error’ after policy did not automatically renew

Fine and points as defendant told 'don't let it happen again'

A Portadown man has been allowed to continue driving after claiming his insurance policy did not automatically renew.

Anibal Mariano, of Kernan Hill Manor, pleaded guilty to driving whilst uninsured.

The 46-year-old appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ on Wednesday with three live penalty points on his licence.

The court heard the incident occurred on April 9 at around 9.30am, when police stopped the defendant driving a Vauxhall Astra on the Armagh Road, Portadown, after it was flagged as being uninsured.

Mariano was cautioned, and the vehicle was seized by officers.

During a notebook interview, the defendant claimed that he must not have checked his insurance had been renewed.

Defence counsel told the court this is exactly what had happened; having previously had insurance the defendant’s policy had not auto-renewed.

He stated that this had been a “genuine error”.

District Judge Paul Copeland told Mariano: “I will not compromise you driving this time but don’t let it happen again.”

The defendant was handed six penalty points and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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