Motorists banned after driving wrong way on motorway close to Dungannon at 10mph

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A man caught going the wrong way down the motorway at 10mph during morning rush hour has been banned from driving for two years.

East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court heard how police received a number of calls from members of the public just after 9am on November 31.

Court

Court

They described how a Ford car was going the wrong way down the motorway in the direction of Dungannon close to the Tamnamore roundabout.

Police found the defendant, Jack John Fitzsimmons, 56, from Parkgate in Belfast, travelling at 10mph with his hazard warning lights on.

He made full admissions at the scene to police.

His solicitor told the court that her client had been on his way to Newmills when he realised that he had missed his turn off.

She said that in his confusion he ended up on the wrong carriageway and had slowed down to 10mph.

He had then performed a U-turn about a mile down the road, she said, when he was met by police.

His solicitor told the court that Mr Fitzsimmons, an unemployed man, had significant health issues including pain in his hands and feet which forced him to walk aided by a stick.

She stated that following the incident, and in consultation with his doctor, Mr Fitzsimmons had decided to have his licence revoked after having held it for some 17 years without incident.

Handing down a driving disqualification of two years and a fine of £300, District Judge John Meehan told the court that he had “heard some pleas” in his time presiding over the court but that this was one of the most “bizarre”.

“This was genuine recklessness ... any driver would have pulled over to the hard shoulder.”