THE father of a young County Down man charged with dangerous driving during the Donegal International Rally felt the court’s punishment was too lenient, so he took his sports car off him.
Graham Newell (29) of 33 Drumhirk Road, Comer, was back before Monday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court charged with dangerous driving at Urbalshinney, Milford on June 23.
Newell had appeared at a previous hearing, however, Judge Paul Kelly adjourned sentencing until this week to give him time to compete a ‘Pro Social’ driving course after he was caught doing ‘doughnuts’ on a public road during rally weekend.
The court also heard that Newell had the words ‘road markings in progress’ on the number plates of his Ford Sierra Cosworth.
The judge had indicated he might convict Newell of a lesser charge of careless driving if he successfully completed the course.
Defending solicitor, Mr Mallon, told judge Kelly that his client had indeed completed the course.
However, he said, his father felt the court’s order was “not enough” so he sold his son’s sports car and replaced it with 4X4 vehicle suitable for his farm work.
“His father sold the sports car and replaced it with one of a less speedy nature. The offending number plate has also been sold,” Mr Mallon said.
He added that Newell has no previous convictions and would not be back before the court again. Mr Mallon said Newell drives a Land Cruiser and his family feel his now a more mature young man.
Addressing Judge Kelly, Newell said he had learned from the driving course and that it was not worth the hassle “getting caught.”
“It would make think before offending again,” he added.
However, the judge pointed out to him that the court was meant to put him off offending altogether.
“Donegal County Council is strapped for cash and would prefer to do their own road markings in white and not in black,” Judge Kelly said.
He convicted Newell of a lesser charge of careless driving and fined him €250 and told him he would not disqualify him on this occasion.
Letterkenny based GP Dr James McDaid said that an ‘awful’ lot of people across Donegal were using benzodiazepines.