A MAN whose vehicle was found damaged with airbags deployed around 1.30am on December 20 last year after hitting a fence and wall has been banned from driving for six months.
Ross Morrison (39), with an address listed as Woodford Road in Newtownabbey but said to have been staying in the Glenavy area at the time, admitted charges of failing to stop and report a collision.
A prosecutor told Antrim Magistrates' Court, sitting in Ballymena, that around 1.30am a vehicle was found crashed into a fence in the "Crumlin" area.
The driver was not present and when police called at a number of addresses he was not located.
At 8.15am the defendant answered the door at an address.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was "always concerned when somebody has a significant accident in the early hours of the morning and doesn't remain at the scene".
A defence lawyer said the defendant had been driving for twenty years with no criminal record although he had six points on his licence and "three in the pipeline".
He said the defendant was "diagnosed with anxiety and depression" and had been "made redundant".
The lawyer added: "It was the spiraling debts coming from that that led up to the night in question. He couldn't sleep because of all those financial difficulties and worries. He had gone for a drive".
The lawyer said the collision happened about one and a half miles from the address he was staying at.
The defence lawyer said it had been the early hours and never having been involved in an accident before he "panicked" and didn't know what to do.
He said the defendant didn't think he could report it at that time of the morning and walked to the address with the intention of reporting it the next morning and going back to the scene but police came to his door "before he had that chance".
The lawyer said the defendant was fully insured and any damage would have been covered.
The lawyer said the defendant works as "production staff or a producer in the television industry".
He said the address on his licence was the defendant's parents' address.
The defendant was banned from driving for six months and fined £400.