Motorist sped off from police and blasted through several red traffic lights in Antrim town

Motorist sped off from police and blasted through several red traffic lights in Antrim town

A MOTORIST who drove through red traffic lights without stopping on "multiple" occasions whilst being pursued by police in Antrim town has been told he is fortunate not to have killed either himself or another road user.

Christopher Barry Cosgrove (32), of Loughview Apartments, Stiles Farm, Antrim, admitted charges including dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, heard he also pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath and using a vehicle without insurance in relation to the early hours of August 9 last year.

A prosecutor said that at 12.50am police stopped the defendant in a Vauxhall Zafira at Oriel Road in Antrim.

After he gave "false details" he "drove off at high speed".

Police followed and noticed he failed to give way at a roundabout and was doing 60mph in a 30mph zone.

The prosecutor said Cosgrove  "went through red lights without stopping, multiple times."

Cosgrove lost control of the vehicle and hit a verge and ran off on foot.

When detained it emerged he was uninsured.

The defendant failed to provide a preliminary breath sample. A later blood sample was "clear of alcohol".

When interviewed he was "apologetic".

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson accepted it was a "serious driving incident".

He added: "He knew that he had driven illegally. When police stopped him he basically panicked and drove away. He should never have done so.

"He has acknowledged the risk that causes to other road users and even going as far to say that he could have put somebody's life in danger so he is completely understanding of the gravity of what he he has done."

The lawyer said there had been a complaint made to the Police Ombudsman "and it seems in the course of his arrest there must have been something that happened that he was quite significantly injured".

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant: "This is a very, very, poor piece of driving. You are lucky you didn't kill somebody, let alone yourself".

Cosgrove was given a five months prison term, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for two years.