Suspended prison term for doing ‘donut’

Court gavel
Court gavel

A 25-year-old man who was seen to do a ‘donut’ with his car was given a suspended prison sentence last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for dangerous driving.

At a previous court Thomas Eric Murray, Banbridge Road, Lurgan, admitted driving dangerously at the junction of the A1 carriageway and the Lurgan B2 road on April 22 this year.

The court heard that at 12.20am a police patrol on the A1 near Dromore saw a car do a ‘donut’ losing traction of the rear wheel at a junction.

When asked about it Murray replied: “I suppose so.”

He was also asked if he was in control of the vehicle and replied he was normally a careful driver but not on this occasion.

The case was adjourned to get a pre-sentence report and the judge ordered forfeiture of the vehicle he was driving.

A defence barrister said that on the day in question Murray had been in Portrush and on his way back he decided to ‘do this foolish manoeuvre’ when there was no other traffic about but he was seen by the police.

He added that unfortunately the defendant had a relevant record with a previous conviction for dangerous driving in 2013.

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill said this was ‘an incredibly dangerous and foolish’ piece of driving.

He noted that Murray had been disqualified from driving and then there was a further disqualification for a year and a half for driving while disqualified.

“The difficulty appears to be that you are not learning,” said the judge. “It is only your plea of guilty that is saving you from going to jail today and because you met the matter fair and square.”

He sentenced Murray to three months in prison which he suspended for two years and banned him from driving for two years.

The judge also fined him £200 and ordered him to pay a £15 offender’s levy.