Motorist (18) caught doing 105mph near Ballymena was 'in rush to church service'

Motorist (18) caught doing 105mph near Ballymena was 'in rush to church service'

AN 18-year-old motorist from near Antrim town rushing to a church service was caught doing 105mph in an Audi A3.

Tim Bailie, of Lisnevenagh Road, was caught at the Ballymena end of the same dual-carriageway on May 17 this year.

The defendant appeared via video link, from his solicitor's office, at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to exceeding a 70mph speed limit.

A prosecutor said the defendant, who had no record or penalty points, told police: "I was in a rush".

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said his client did not normally drive in such a fashion and wished to apologise.

The court heard the defendant is about to go to university in Glasgow for veterinary studies and works with a vet in the Antrim area and also assists a farmer with morning and evening milking and his driving licence is important.

References were handed in to court from a school vice-principal and a farmer.

Mr Ballentine said when caught speeding it had been a "moment of youthful madness" and the defendant had been on his way to a "church service".

District Judge Peter Magill said the speed was far too high and "utterly inexcusable".

He warned the defendant to be "extremely careful".

Taking into account the clear record, guilty plea and "very impressive" references, the judge said the defendant was "within an inch" of being banned but he would let him keep his licence and instead was marking it with three penalty points and a "very substantial fine", £500, fine.