Judge hits out at 'drifting' after court heard a Lexus car driver was using Antiville Roundabout in Larne for manoeuvre

Judge hits out at 'drifting' after court heard a Lexus car driver was using Antiville Roundabout in Larne for manoeuvre

A JUDGE hit out at motorists 'drifting' on public roads after police spotted a man at the wheel of a Lexus car performing such a manoeuvre at a roundabout in Larne.

Stephen Hyde (25), of Crooked Stone Road near Belfast International Airport, admitted driving without due care and attention.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police on patrol at 11.50pm on October 17 last year as police approached the Antiville Roundabout they saw a black Lexus vehicle "drifting around the roundabout".

District Judge Nigel Broderick asked: "Drifting like they are putting the back end of the car out like they are in some race?" and the prosecutor replied: "Yes".

She said the vehicle continued to "drift for almost the full circle of the roundabout" after which it exited onto the "Larne-bound carriageway of the Ballymena road" and was stopped in a lay-by by police.

A breath test was negative and the defendant admitted the careless driving offence.

The judge, Court News NI can report, said Hyde was "lucky he is not charged with dangerous driving".

The court heard the defendant had a clear record.

A defence lawyer said Hyde is "exceptionally remorseful for the way he was driving".

The lawyer said the road was "empty" and there was no excess speed involved.

He said the defendant is a bodyshop technician and his licence was essential as he works in the car trade.

The lawyer admitted: "He was just very lucky that there were no cars involved; nobody was in the road and it was late at night. It was a foolish way to be driving the car which he fully accepted from the outset".

The judge said he took into account the clear record and guilty plea but added: "I am not going to condone people drifting at roundabouts".

Judge Broderick added: "This sort of behaviour needs to be addressed in a vigorous fashion".

He banned Hyde from driving for a month along with a fine of £200.

  • Main picture: The 'drifting' took place at Antiville Roundabout in Larne. Picture: Google Street View.