Court hears police received reports of vehicles 'racing' in Portglenone

Court hears police received reports of vehicles 'racing' in Portglenone

POLICE received reports of vehicles "racing" at Main Street in Portglenone and whilst attempting to get a motorist to stop, a judge noted, an officer had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck.

At Antrim Magistrates' Court, sitting in Ballymena, 20-year-old Matthew Kane, of Glebe Avenue in Derrykeighan, admitted driving without due care and attention in Portglenone on January 16 this year.

A prosecutor said the PSNI were in Portglenone and had received "reports, earlier, of vehicles racing up and down the street".

The court heard police were speaking to a motorist at the side of the Main Street around 10.50pm when they "became aware of another vehicle accelerating at speed towards their location" in a 30mph zone.

The engine was "revving" and the vehicle approached police "at speed" with the officer saying he estimated the vehicle was doing 40-50mph.

The officer waved his hand to indicate for the vehicle to stop and the car was "trying to stop and was weaving over the road".

The prosecutor said the police officer had to "step to the side as they were concerned the vehicle was going to collide with them".

The vehicle "finally came to a stop a short distance away".

A defence lawyer said the defendant, who previously had six penalty points on his licence, "wasn't iinvolved in any street racing" and "didn't see any street racing".

The lawyer said Kane had been "attending a gathering with other young people to look at and discuss cars".

The lawyer said the defendant had pulled out of a space at Main Street and in doing so had not fully lifted the clutch, "causing the car engine to rev loudly".

The lawyer said the police officer was not wearing a "hi-vis jacket" and had not deployed a torch and Kane had moved to the other side of the road to avoid him.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said if the officer "hadn't jumped out of the way he would have ran him over".

Giving the defendant five penalty points and a £400 fine, the judge told the defendant: "You are very fortunate the officer got out of the way otherwise you could have been facing a much more serious charge".

He said Kane was also fortunate prosecutors agreed to withdraw a dangerous driving charge and accept careless driving.

Judge Broderick told him: "Unless you mend your ways and slow down and behave properly you are going to be disqualified."