Farmer caught doing almost 90mph near Randalstown was 'under pressure because slurry spreading season was ending'

Farmer caught doing almost 90mph near Randalstown was 'under pressure because slurry spreading season was ending'

A FARMER caught doing almost twice his permitted speed was in a rush because the slurry spreading season was ending, a court in Ballymena heard on Tuesday.

Timothy James Palmer (18), of Tobermore Road, Desertmartin, was an 'R' driver with a restricted speed of 45mph but he was caught doing 89mph at 3pm on October 14, 2021, at the Moneynick Road dual-carriageway near Randalstown.

He also had an 'incorrect' number plate.

A prosecutor told Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, police noticed an 'R' plate on the rear window of his vehicle and when stopped and spoken to Palmer admitted being a restricted driver and therefore was 44mph in excess of his limit.

The defendant, who was not before the court, told the police: "It is the slurry ban and the pressure is on".

The court heard Palmer was not using a "slurry tanker" at the time.

A defence lawyer said, Court News NI can report, in mid-October there was "an imminent ban on any farmers who emit any slurry".

He added: "There is a deadline with regard to that. Unless they have it done by a certain time then it can't be done. That was the rationale he offers for his excess speed.

"He shouldn't have been doing it. He was under pressure. He works on the family farm. There are deadlines in place for the emission of slurry".

The lawyer said the family farm had 70 diary cattle on over 100 acres and some of the land was not beside the farmhouse.

"We are dealing with a very industrious young man who is extremely busy. He starts work at 5.30 in the morning and he tells me his only day off is Sunday," the lawyer added.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a high speed and handed down five penalty points and fines totalling £350.