Parcel delivery driver reversed van into person at cash machine and then fled the scene in Antrim town

Parcel delivery driver reversed van into person at cash machine and then fled the scene in Antrim town

A PARCEL delivery driver reversed van into a person who was standing in line to use a cash machine outside a shop in Antrim and then fled the scene.

Christopher Betts (53), of Upper Riga Street in Belfast, admitted charges of driving without due care and attention and failing to stop, remain and report an 'injury accident' on April 23 this year at the Islandbawn Centra, Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, was told.

A prosecutor said around 4pm police received a report of a 'hit and run' collision. The injured party "was standing in line to use the cash machine when he was hit by a reversing white Mercedes Sprinter van driven by the defendant".

The court heard the injured party was struck from behind and "suffered some soft tissue injuries to his right foot and lower back and when he shouted at the defendant the defendant then applied the brake".

The prosecutor said when Betts had then driven foward he was "confronted" by the injured party's mother who said she had seen him "reverse back onto her son" and the defendant had then driven off.

A defence solicitor said it was a "low speed impact" involving a reversing manoeuvre at a speed of "four or five miles per hour and the injured party walked into the defendant's blindside.

"There was a bit of a bump and the defendant heard some shouting. He didn't realise that he had bumped into the individual concerned".

The lawyer said as Betts was about to leave the injured party's mother and father "appeared on the scene and pulled the car in front".

The defendant said his client works for Parcel Force and delivers to the area every day but on that date had been allocated a van which "didn't have the required parking sensors or movement sensors at the back, so basically he misjudged it".

The solicitor said Betts accepts he should have been "watching out for people walking behind him".

The lawyer said a vehicle had "pulled out in front of him to stop him" and after a conversation the defendant - who had been a "medic in the Gulf War" - couldn't really given an explanation as to why he left other than "fight or flee" and he "didn't want a confrontation so he took off".

The court heard the defendant had up to that point been driving for 33 years with no previous convictions.

The defence lawyer said Betts was caught doing 40mph in a 30mph by a roadside speed camera the day after the Islandbawn incident and had received three penalty points for that offence.

The solicitor said the defendant was "taken aback" when he saw CCTV of what happened at the Centra.

Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said it was "unfortunate" the defendant had "blotted his copybook" but added: "I think there is maybe more to it than he is prepared to admit".

The defendant was given six penalty points; fined £250 and a one year conditional discharge.

  • Main picture: The cash machine at Islandbawn. Image: Google Maps.