A YOUNG Dungannon man who carried out a number of handbrake turns in the middle of a busy road after his brother’s wedding, has been told he needs to understand that driving “is a privilege, not a right”.
Before the Magistrates Court in the town was 20 year-old Sean O’Callaghan from Derrylappen Road, who pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and driving without a seatbelt.
Outlining the circumstances of the case, a prosecuting lawyer explained that a police patrol travelling along the Moy Road at around 11pm on July 25 saw O’Callaghan in a white Ford Sierra performing handbrake turns in the middle of a road in an area which is adjacent to a shop.
There was a significant amount of traffic on the road at this time, the prosecutor continued, and a number of vehicles had to take evasive action in order to prevent a collision.
The court was told O’Callaghan carried out at least four of these manoeuvres before driving into a yard attached to a business premises, where he was found not to be wearing a seatbelt.
A lawyer acting for O’Callaghan explained that the part-time race marshall and joinery student realised his behaviour on this occasion was “unacceptable and very immature”.
The defending lawyer added that the wedding of O’Callaghan’s older brother had taken place earlier that same day.
“The outcome of this could have been a lot worse had a collision taken place”, the defending lawyer told the court.
Disqualifying O’Callaghan from driving for 12 months and imposing fines totalling £250, Deputy District Judge Copeland told the defendant: “The reason why insurance is so high for young men between the ages of 18 and 23 is precisely because of the behaviour you have exhibited, because young men go out and act like absolute lunatics on the road.
“What you did was dangerous and could have killed yourself and other road users. You need to be off the roads for long enough to understand that driving is a privilege, not a right.”