Mobile phone footage captured moments dangerous motorist crashed into lamp post near Belfast International Airport

Mobile phone footage captured moments dangerous motorist crashed into lamp post near Belfast International Airport

A MOTORIST whose vehicle swerved across a road before crashing into a lamp post near Belfast International Airport had the incident captured on mobile phone by a passenger in another vehicle.

Geoffrey McCullough (48), of Carnbeg Green, Antrim town, contested a charge of dangerous driving saying he was prepared to admit to careless driving but at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, he was convicted of the more serious matter.

Mobile phone footage captured by another road user was shown to the court of the defendant driving at the Airport Road on November 17 last year.

A prosecutor said the footage showed a "number of near misses" before the defendant's Vauxhall Insignia hit a lamp post at a roundabout.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had crossed the road for a "short period" but other oncoming vehicles were a distance away.

He said the defendant had clipped a traffic island at a roundabout but no other vehicles had been on the roundabout.

Convicting the defendant of careless driving, District Judge Nigel Broderick said the footage showed a vehicle swerving on a road, hitting the left hand side and going over to the right hand side and then hitting a lamp post at a roundabout.

The judge said a preliminary breath test provided a zero alcohol reading and a blood test was also negative for medication.

Having viewed bodyworn footage of the defendant being spoken to be a police office, the judge said it was "obvious" the defendant's reactions were "somewhat delayed and his speech appears slurred".

The judge said with the negative tests the only explanation could be "tiredness".

He said the defendant should have pulled over if he felt tired but the driving had continued.

Judge Broderick added: "He is quite lucky that he didn't hit a vehicle coming the other way or a car on the roundabout or somebody else on the road".

The court heard the defendant had a previously clear record and had been driving for 37 years.

The judge told McCullough: "When you look at that footage it is there but for the Grace of God and he is lucky he didn't have a more serious accident but really what you should have done when you realised things weren't going well in the car you should have pulled over and stopped especially when you hit that hedge or verge on the left hand side.

"Instead of that you over-corrected and went on the right hand side and you still didn't stop and you kept going until you hit the lamp post at the roundabout.

"I see all too often fatal road traffic accidents and you are actually very lucky not to have injured yourself of God forbid somebody else because if you had done that you would have been facing, possibly, a lengthy custodial sentence."

The defendant was banned from driving for a year and fined £300.

  • Main picture: Belfast International Airport.