Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Izzard to shoulder blame for bad driving

COMEDIAN Eddie Izzard has been banned from driving on Northern Ireland's roads for three months.

COMEDIAN Eddie Izzard has been banned from driving on Northern Ireland's roads for three months.

The cross dressing funnyman was also slapped with a £200 fine after he admitted driving on the hard shoulder over Glenshane Pass in June.

The 37-year-old was rushing to keep an appointment with former Secretary of State Mo Mowlam when he was spotted and reported to police.

Limavady Magistrates Court heard yesterday how Izzard's hired Ford Mondeo car was seen driving on the hard shoulder at around 12.40pm on June 27.

An RUC inspector said the defendant moved on to the shoulder after several failed attempts to pass a car in front of him.

He added that Izzard eventually pulled back on to the main road before overtaking when it was "not safe" to do so.

Izzard, whose address was given as 21 Darblay Street, London, did not appear in court.

However, his solicitor Killian Colwell said his client deeply regretted his actions.

He added that Izzard had been driving for 20 years and had a clean record.

Outlining the background to the case Mr Colwell said his client had finished a charity concert in Derry for a railway museum and was rushing to Belfast to keep an appointment with the former Secretary of State Mo Mowlam.

He explained how Izzard had become stuck behind a long line of slow moving traffic on the Glenshane Pass.

He said that in a moment of frustration his client had moved on to the hard shoulder.

Mr Colwell added that when contacted by police a few weeks after the incident Izzard co-operated fully.

Passing sentence, Resident Magistrate Berna-dette Kelly said: "Mr Izzard's actions fell far short of what is expected from a competent driver." She said the offence was at the higher end of the careless driving scale and therefore should be treated very seriously.

The RM fined Izzard £200 and disqualified him from driving in Northern Ireland for three months.

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