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'Boy racer' fined over donut tribute to pal

By Nevin Farrell

Published 12/01/2016

Mark Leslie (pictured) spun his car in tribute to injured pal John Reid, who has since died
Mark Leslie (pictured) spun his car in tribute to injured pal John Reid, who has since died
Mark Leslie spun his car in tribute to injured pal John Reid (pictured), who has since died

A "boy racer" spun his car in circles on a Co Antrim road in tribute to a friend who was fighting for his life in hospital, a court has heard.

Coleraine Magistrates Court was told yesterday how Mark Leslie had attended a cross-community vigil on August 30 at Magherahoney near Ballymoney for John Reid and another man. Both had been injured after a car crashed at Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney.

Mr Reid (21) was from Corkey near Loughgiel outside Ballymoney and subsequently died of his injuries. The other man was released from hospital.

Yesterday, a prosecutor said police in plain clothes were at the Scenic Inn pub for an unrelated matter on September 1 last year. They noticed a number of 'boy racer'-style cars in the car park, which then left.

The court heard that at the junction of the Ballyveely Road, Leslie - who was driving a BMW - performed the 'donuts' as others looked on.

Police stopped Leslie (27), a lorry driver, of Drumadragh, Coleraine, and he denied his driving was dangerous. He said he had been at a vigil that night for a friend who had been injured in a serious road traffic collision and it had been suggested to him he should carry out the 'donuts' as a tribute.

District Judge Des Perry told Leslie he had behaved like a 17-year-old. Leslie had been charged with dangerous driving but admitted a lesser charge of careless driving. He was given three penalty points and fined £300.

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